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This northwest view (1 778) of the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hal 
was published in a 1787 magazine article discussing the Constitutional 
Convention meeting there. Six years earlier, in 1781. the steeple had been 
replaced by a low pyramidal roof and spire. 




Howard Chandler Christy's rendition of the signing of the Constitution, which 
hangs in the U.S. Capitol, captures the spirit of the historic event. 




Historic Places Commemorating the 
Signing of the Constitution 


Series Editor 


Washington, DC. 1976 


Ernest Allen Connally 


A. Russell Mortensen, Director 


Cornelius W. Heine, Chief 

Horace J. Sheely, Jr., Chief 

This volume was based on studies prepared under contract by Prof. 
Charles H. McCormick, Fairmont State College, W. Va., and Mrs. Mary 
M. Bodnar, Springfield, Va. Also utilized were survey and evaluation 
reports prepared by the following National Park Service historians: 
Newton P. Bevin, S. Sydney Bradford, Charles E. Hatch, the late John O. 
Littleton, Lee H. Nelson, John D. R. Piatt, Carol Ann Poh, Robert C. Post, 
Charles E. Shedd, Jr., Horace J. Sheely, Jr., Charles W. Snell, Louis 
Torres, and Martin I. Yoelson. These reports were reviewed by the 
Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings, and Monu- 
ments and the Consulting Committee for the National Survey of Historic 
Sites and Buildings. Current members of these groups are listed in the 
Acknowledgments. Editorial Assistant Richard E. Dean, Jr., assisted 
with various phases of manuscript preparation. 

Assistant Editor: James H. Charleton 

Photographic Editor: Dorothy Chatfield Buffmire 

Designer: Gary Gore 


Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

United States. National Park Service. 

Signers of the Constitution: historic places commemorating the signing 
of the Constitution 

(The National survey of historic sites and buildings, v. 19) 

Bibliography: p. 

1. United States. Constitution— Signers. 2. Historic sites- 
United States— Guide-books. I. Title. II. Series. 
E302.5.U6 1976 973.3'13'0922 [B] 75-619382 

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 

Washington, D.C. 20402 
Stock Number 024-005-00649-4 

^*F ■?*RA*'" , f"V" - - ? ~<", ,' | iW 



In the celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States of 
America, we turn once more to examination and contemplation of 
our Nation's origins. One of the basic contributions to the 
strength and character of this country is our Constitution, which 
provides the framework and guidance for the conduct of our 
Government. Its creation, ratification, and evolution is one of the 
thrilling chapters in the history of government, not only in the 
United States but throughout the world. This charter document 
and its amendments, particularly the Bill of Rights, mold our 
governmental system and undergird our liberties. 

This volume not only tells the story of the Constitution, recounts 
the lives of the men who conceived it, and describes the sites and 
buildings commemorating them, but also outlines the fundamental 
principles upon which our Nation is based. 

Believing as I do that this book will contribute to understanding 
of what it means to be an American, I heartily recommend it to 
every citizen. 

Thomas S. Kleppe 
Secretary of the Interior 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 


The extant residences and buildings associated with the men 
who signed the Constitution illuminate the events surrounding 
the conception of this bulwark of human rights, as well as the 
careers and lifestyles of the Founding Fathers. Although visits to 
these places are always stimulating, they should be specially so 
during the Bicentennial era. I encourage all Americans to enjoy 
these hallowed structures. 

Credit for the preparation of this volume is shared widely by 
persons both in and out of the National Park Service. The Service 
appreciates the assistance of the many individuals and institu- 
tions who contributed. The National Survey of Historic Sites and 
Buildings, which is cosponsored by the National Trust for Historic 
Preservation, is authorized by the Historic Sites Act of 1935. 

Gary Everhardt 


National Park Service 




Signers of the Constitution: 
Historical Background 

Part II 

Signers of the Constitution: 

Biographical Sketches 133 

Abraham Baldwin • Georgia 140 

Richard Bassett • Delaware 142 

Gunning Bedford, Jr. • Delaware 143 

John Blair • Virginia 145 

William Blount • North Carolina 146 

David Brearly • New Jersey 148 

Jacob Broom • Delaware 150 

Pierce Butler • South Carolina 151 

Daniel Carroll • Maryland 153 

George Clymer • Pennsylvania 154 

Jonathan Dayton • New Jersey 156 

John Dickinson • Delaware 158 

William Few • Georgia 161 

Thomas Fitzsimons • Pennsylvania 163 

Benjamin Franklin • Pennsylvania 165 

Nicholas Gilman • New Hampshire 169 

Nathaniel Gorham • Massachusetts 170 

Alexander Hamilton • New York 172 

Jared Ingersoll • Pennsylvania 175 
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer • Maryland 111 

William Samuel Johnson • Connecticut 178 

Rufus King • Massachusetts 180 

John Langdon • New Hampshire 182 

William Livingston • New Jersey 185 



James McHenry • Maryland 187 

James Madison • Virginia 189 

Thomas Mifflin • Pennsylvania 193 

Gouverneur Morris • Pennsylvania 195 

Robert Morris • Pennsylvania 197 

William Paterson • New Jersey 200 

Charles Pinckney • South Carolina 202 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 

• South Carolina 204 
George Read • Delaware 206 
John Rutledge • South Carolina 208 
Roger Sherman • Connecticut 210 
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr. 

• North Carolina 212 
George Washington • Virginia 214 
Hugh Williamson • North Carolina 218 
James Wilson • Pennsylvania 221 

Part III 

Signers of the Constitution: 

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings 225 

Bassett (Richard) House, Del. 232 

Broom (Jacob) House, Del. 233 

Dickinson (John) Mansion, Del. 234 

Lombardy Hall, Del. 236 

Stonum, Del. 238 

Octagon House, D.C. 240 

The White House, D.C. 244 

Crosiadore, Md. 247 

Ellerslie, Md. 248 

Maryland State House, Md. 248 

Peggy Stewart House, Md. 252 

Governor John Langdon Mansion, N.H. 253 

Ladd-Gilman House (Cincinnati 

Memorial Hall), N.H. 255 

Boxwood Hall, N.J. 257 

Liberty Hall, N.J. 258 


Federal Hall National Memorial, N.Y. 260 
Hamilton Grange National Memorial, 

N.Y. 264 

King Manor, N.Y. 267 

Iredell (James) House, N.C. 269 

Rosefield, N.C. 270 

Independence National Historical 

Park, Pa. 270 

Summerseat, Pa. 279 

Colonel (Charles) Pinckney House, S.C. 280 

Governor John Rutledge House, S.C. 281 

Snee Farm, S.C. 283 

Blount Mansion, Tenn. 284 

Rocky Mount, Tenn. 287 

Blair (John) House, Va. 288 
George Washington Birthplace 

National Monument, Va. 289 

Montpelier, Va. 292 

Mount Vernon, Va. 294 


The Constitution and Its History 299 

Text of the Constitution 

and Amendments 301 

History of the Document 317 

Suggested Reading 324 
Criteria for Selection of Historic Sites of 

National Significance 327 

Acknowledgments 329 

Art and Picture Credits 334 

Index 341 

Map: Signers of the Constitution— Historic Sites of 
National Significance 230-231 

Wart <S>ne 

Signers of the Constitution 
Historical Background 


' v / ' or generations the people of the United States have 

revered the Constitution --and rightly so. It has provided 
an enduring and evolving framework for almost 190 years of 
national development. In some respects, it reflects the time of its 
creation, for it incorporates basic American tenets of the 18th 
century. These include the theory of the state as a compact between 
the people and the government and the idea that fundamental laws 
should be written. The Constitution also reaffirms the strong belief 
in the traditional rights of Englishmen to the protection of life, 
liberty, and property that Americans defended in their rebellion 
against Britain. 

Above all, the document expresses, both in its provisions and in 
the process by which they were formulated, the Founding Fathers' 
abiding faith in man's willingness to reason — his ability to 
surmount political differences by means of rational discussion and 
compromise. Men sometimes disagree over the meaning of specific 
provisions of the instrument, but within its broad outlines and 
mechanisms for compromise lie means to reconcile disagreements. 
The Constitution expresses the concerns of a past age, yet it is the 
embodiment of a spirit and a wisdom as modern as torrorrow. 


LABORING at Philadelphia from late spring until early fall in 
1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention created a 
new form of government for the United States. Few of them could 
likely ever have imagined how successful and enduring their 
efforts would be, for the flexible instrument they produced to 
replace the Articles of Confederation has persevered through the 
intervening decades as the foundation of our Nation — though it has 
been buffeted by a civil war, two world wars, domestic conflicts, 
and economic depressions. During these years, amendments to and 
judicial clarifications of the Constitution have adapted it to a 
continually changing national mode of life. And today it serves as 
a symbol of democracy to the world, whose history it has immeas- 
urably influenced. 

The constitutional achievement is all the more remarkable when 
the vast social, economic, and political differences between the 
present age and the era of the framers are considered. While the 
country has evolved from a weak and basically agricultural 
collection of almost independent States into an industrial colossus 
that ranks high among the sovereign nations of the world, 
sweeping changes have occurred in American life, thought, and 

Living as they did in another day and serving far more restricted 
constituencies than our governmental representatives today, most 
of the Founding Fathers entertained some views that differed from 
our modern concept of democracy. These views reflected those of 
the aristocracy, the ruling-elite group to which the majority of them 
belonged. As legislators, politicians, lawyers, merchants, business- 
men, planters, and landed gentry for the most part, they were 
predominantly conservative men of property. 

Few of the Convention delegates would have acknowledged they 
were "democrats"; to most of them, "democracy" was virtually 
synonymous with "mob rule." They favored "republicanism," in 
which the aristocrats would be dominant. The framers were not 
truly seeking to establish a government under direct popular 

Yet, though in some ways the Constitution originally demon- 
strated the self-interest of its creators, contained certain antidem- 
ocratic concepts, and sanctioned slavery, practically all the men 
who wrote it believed in the precepts of representative government 
and felt the people were its ultimate custodians. Thus, the 
document's underlying philosophy is essentially democratic. 


To most of the founders, the issue was not simply "democracy" 
versus "republicanism" but national union versus disintegration. 
As pragmatic politicians for the most part rather than political 
theorists, they did not seek so much to impose a fixed governmental 
philosophy as to find a way to reconcile conflicting political and 
economic theories and realities within a framework that would 
facilitate the orderly and stable growth of the Nation and insure its 

Americans have always revered the basic documents of the Republic. The 
Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as the Declaration of Independence, 
are displayed in Exhibition Hall of the National Archives Building. 


Actually, the motivations of the framers were as diverse and 
complex as those of humanity. If most of them were committed to 
the preservation or improvement of their own economic situation, 
they also sought to better that of all citizens. Some of the makers of 
the Constitution stood to gain financially from the fiscal stability 
the new Government would provide, but others stood to lose. On key 
issues, individuals often voted against or compromised their 
personal interests for what they believed to be the common good. 

The delegates were also obviously swayed by their own political 
views and factions, the attitudes of their constituents, and the 
situations in their States. In a humanitarian vein, the Founding 
Fathers strove to foster the general welfare and prevent tyranny 
from any source. Psychological factors were also apparent. Frayed 
tempers, jealousies, animosities, ambitions, and friendships had a 
major impact. Many of the framers also recognized they could 
likely attain positions of power in the new Government. Finally, 
intellectual factors guided these men. They employed many logical 
premises and techniques, utilized rational dialogue, and drew on 
the lessons of history and political theory. 

HISTORIANS have long debated the motives and aims of the 
founders. Some scholars contend they were often guided by selfish 
or even sinister interests, particularly in the economic realm; 
others maintain that most of them were basically altruistic; 
members of a third group take positions somewhere in between the 
two extremes. Such dichotomy is at least partially explained by the 
diversities in personalities, backgrounds, and goals of the framers ; 
incomplete biographical data; inadequacies in primary historical 
sources; historical semantic differences in the definition of the 
word "democracy"; the conflicting political and socioeconomic 
elements that went into the making of the Constitution; the 
pronounced differences between the modern and 18th-century 
milieus; and the biases of historians themselves. 

If the Founding Fathers had a contrary intent, they nevertheless 
devised an instrument that ultimately resulted in a democracy. As 
leaders of the day, they possessed the required education and 
political and economic experience to understand the needs of the 
Nation and bring about the changes in Government so necessary 
for its survival. Certainly it is unlikely that the framers would have 
been able or willing to transcend their background and experience 


and prepare a document surrendering the reins of power to and 
reflecting the needs and desires of another group. 

Legitimate channels were followed in convoking theConvention, 
which the Continental Congress had authorized. The only State not 
in attendance, Rhode Island, had rejected the invitation to take 
part. All the other 12 legislatures elected delegates in the approved 
manner. Most of these bodies, though they were not representative 
of the entire populace because of various voting and apportionment 
restrictions, were recently elected and broadly represented most 
areas and economic and social groups of the Nation. Furthermore, 
the legislatures as a whole were more democratic than perhaps any 
other governmental assemblies in the world at the time. 

The men at Philadelphia feared any form of tyranny. During 
their careers, a number of them had espoused human rights, 
protected economic and religious minorities, and sponsored anti- 
slavery legislation. The delegates were not totally alienated from 
the masses, with whom they had shoulder to shoulder recently 
overthrown British rule and with whom they identified in many 
other ways. Americans in mind and spirit, they were guided by a 
strong sense of public service. 

Furthermore, the Founding Fathers based the proposed new 
government on popular, as well as State, sovereignty, though not 
all people were eligible to vote at the time. The Constitution left the 
determination of suffrage to the States, where this responsibility 
had been lodged. For Federal officeholders, no property qualifica- 
tions were imposed and religious tests were forbidden. Titles of 
nobility were also prohibited, on both the State and National level. 
And provisions for amendment of the instrument were far easier 
than in the Articles of Confederation. 

Then, too, the founders were aware they would submit their work 
to Congress for whatever action it cared to take and specified that 9 
of the 13 States would need to ratify the Constitution before it went 
into effect. Thus, opponents gained an opportunity to voice their 
objections. Had this group been better represented at the Conven- 
tion, perhaps the Constitution might not have been created. Some 
individuals in this category had been elected as delegates, but 
chose not to participate. Had they done so, because voting was by 
State and most delegations were small, they could have made a 
substantial mark on the proceedings. One such person, Patrick 
Henry, was a spokesman for a group that had slight voice at 
Philadelphia, the small farmers. 


Representation in a democracy is never perfect. At least one-third 
of the country's population today does not vote. Even those people 
who do can never be precisely represented because of a host of 
social, geographic, and political factors and the existence of 
individual shades of sentiment on particular issues. 

How could the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention 
conceivably have spoken equitably for all the diverse elements of 
the Nation? And, as a matter of fact, considering that the framers 
were apparently better educated, wealthier, and possessed more 
political experience and power than most of their fellow aristocrats, 
they probably even imperfectly represented their own class. Also, 
some of the rich delegates had come from poor or humble 
backgrounds and thus likely possessed some understanding of the 
needs and problems of this group. No blacks attended the 
Convention, yet some delegates vehemently argued against slav- 

The Founding Fathers were acutely aware that the fate of the 
Nation would probably hinge on their success or failure at the 
Convention. Heading a new and economically and militarily weak 
country that had few allies and was vulnerable to foreign and 
Indian intrigue or attack, they were genuinely apprehensive about 
national security. Autonomous acts of some of the States in the 
field of foreign affairs threatened to involve the country in war. 
Further undermining international prestige was the lack of 
economic stability. For all these reasons, the framers granted 
control over foreign relations to the Federal Government and even 
went so far as to risk creating a standing army — in a country where 
such an institution was bitterly resented because of the recent 
experience with the British. 

Critics of the founders have formulated numerous arguments. The 
principal ones, some of which reflect modern attitudes and retro- 
spective judgments, are as follows: personal economic interests 
clearly guided some of the delegates ; the majority of them were well- 
to-do aristocrats; fear of social radicalism and " democracy" 
spurred constitutional revision, especially after Shays' Rebellion; 
many of the framers felt a strong central Government offered 
protection against majority rule; a large number doubted the 
stability and intelligence of the general populace; small farmers, 
workingmen, slaves, indentured servants, women, youth, and the 
poor were badly represented in Philadelphia or not at all; the 


Constitution did not outlaw slavery, reduce its effects, nor help 
blacks win the rights of citizenship; Rhode Island did not take part 
in the Convention; New York and New Hampshire were not 
officially in attendance for extended periods; most creditors favored 
and most debtors opposed the Constitution; the bulk of the 
antinationalists who participated in the Convention departed 
before it ended; and certain aspects of the Constitution are 
intentionally nondemocratic. 

It is also true that, though public opinion polls were not 
conducted in 1787, a substantial number of Americans would likely 
have preferred continuance of the Confederation. The central 
Government was only a distant and faint presence in the lives of 
most common men, who were inclined to resist any changes that 
might jeopardize their newly won freedom and whose basic 
allegiance was to their State governments. Furthermore, most of 
this group opposed any system resembling the British that would 
enjoy taxing power and maintain a standing army. Sharing this 
attitude were the State and local governments, which were not 
anxious to relinquish any of their powers. 

WHATEVER their motivations, the Founding Fathers boldly and 
resourcefully created an instrument of Government that fostered 
the growth of a democratic and prosperous Nation. By so doing, 
they have earned the perpetual gratitude of the American people. 

Many of the men at Philadelphia had played a key role in the 
Revolution, and in their view they were completing it. Even though 
they supplanted the Articles of Confederation, which had been its 
product, they firmly adhered to the republican ideals that lay at its 
heart and have attracted the allegiance of Americans ever since. 

At the end of the grueling 4-month Convention, perhaps none of 
the delegates were fully satisfied with their accomplishments. Yet 
posterity has learned, and continues to relearn, their true magni- 
tude. Today the Constitution — an emblem of the viability o\' our 
Union and a beacon to all humanity— is enshrined at the National 
Archives Building in Washington, D.C. 

THE Constitutional Convention met in a climate of national crisis, 
triggered by a series of governmental and economic problems — 
though historians have debated whether or not they were critical 
enough to warrant a drastic reorganization of the Government. An 


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Dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation, whose opening 
paragraphs are reproduced here, engendered the movement that 
led to creation of the Constitution. 


anxious mixture of hope and despair gripped the minds of many 
leaders. [U.S. political and military affairs during the period 1783- 
1828 and related sites are treated in Founders and Frontiersmen, 
Volume VII in this series.] Blessed with a huge territory stretching 
all the way to the Mississippi, the United States contained a wealth 
of natural resources. Its 3V2 million inhabitants had demonstrated 
their industry and ingenuity. Only 4 years before, in the Treaty of 
Paris ending the War for Independence, they had won their 
freedom from Great Britain. Even earlier, they had taken their 
place among the nations of the world. And in 1781 a new 
Government had been initiated under the Articles of Confedera- 
tion, a constitution drawn up in 1777. 

Yet, what if the experiment in self-government should fail? Such 
prominent men as George Washington, James Madison, and 
Alexander Hamilton feared it might. In many fields, the 
Confederation had proven to be ineffectual and its prestige had 
plummeted. The Continental Congress was unable to cope with all 
the country's problems. 

The Articles of Confederation were a "firm league of friendship" 
among 13 semi-independent States, and did not provide for a truly 
sovereign national Government. The principal governmental body 
was a single-house Congress, in which each State held one vote. 
No independent executive, to carry out the laws, or autonomous 
court system, to administer the legal and judicial system or to 
adjudicate disputes between the Federal Government and the 
States, were provided. The approval of a minimum of seven 
States, who elected and paid their delegates, was required for any 
legislation; nine, to wage war or pass certain other measures; and 
all 13, to alter or amend the Articles themselves. The Continental 
Congress was empowered to declare and wage war, raise an Army 
and Navy, make treaties and alliances, appoint and receive 
ambassadors, decide interstate disputes, negotiate loans, emit 
bills of credit, coin money, regulate weights and measures, 
manage Indian affairs, and operate a system of interstate post 

Severely inhibiting the effectiveness of Congress in carrying out 
its prerogatives, however, were three major limitations. One was 
the lack of a most basic governmental power: the right to levy 
taxes, which would provide an independent source of revenue. 
Instead, Congress could only requisition, or request, money from 


the States and could not enforce payment. Suffering from the 
economic depression and saddled with their own war debts, they 
furnished only a small part of the money sought from them. 

The second serious congressional deficiency was absence of 
authority to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. The States 
negotiated separately with foreign powers on commercial matters 
to the detriment of the overall economy. And, when two States 
disagreed about trade matters, they dealt directly with each other 
much like countries did. Fortunately, to facilitate the conduct of 
legal business, at least the States had agreed to the mutual 
recognition of official acts. 

Thirdly, the Continental Congress could not properly exercise 
its treaty power because of the autonomy of the States. Their 
independent conduct of foreign relations and Indian policy not 
only hampered Congress in its dealings with other nations but 
also sometimes even jeopardized national security. 

The Continental Congress had led the Nation through the War 
for Independence, and in the Ordinances of 1784 and 1785 had 
established a plan to advance westward expansion by the 
addition of new States to the Confederation. But in financial 
matters, foreign affairs, national defense, mediation of interstate 
disputes, and protecting American sovereignty in the West it was 
less successful. After the war, the ramifications of political, social, 
and economic readjustment caught up with it. People blamed it for 
failure to solve problems that would have tried stronger govern- 
ments. The deficiencies of Congress were real, however. By 1787 
even its defenders recognized that it had fallen upon evil times. 

Financially, the situation was chaotic. Congress could not pay 
its war debts, foreign or domestic, or meet current obligations. The 
private financial system of the country was feeble, and the Nation 
lacked a stable and uniform currency. The central Government 
was virtually powerless to correct the conditions. 

Because much of the debt — Federal, State, and private — was 
owed to foreign lenders, the future of the United States in 
international commerce was precarious. A nation that does not 
pay its debts cannot command respect from other countries. 
Furthermoie, prosperity depended on trade with Europe and the 
Caribbean colonies, but Congress could not conclude suitable 
commercial treaties. 

Foreign affairs were another area where the Continental 
Congress had failed. Other nations showed contempt for the 


During the Confederation period, domestic and foreign commerce languished. 
Scene at Philadelphia near the Arch Street Ferry. 

United States. Many of them questioned the stability or even the 
continued existence of the Confederation. One British official 
remarked that it would be better to make 13 separate treaties with 
the individual States than to deal with the Continental Congress. 
American diplomats, whose efforts were hamstrung by the lack of 
a central authority that could formulate a unified foreign policy, 
made slight impress in world capitals. The prevailing mercantilis- 
tic system also prevented the opening up of markets for American 
agricultural produce. 

Only a few European nations sent Ministers to this country. In 
1785 Great Britain received Minister John Adams, but not until 7 
years later did she reciprocate with an exchange of diplomats. She 


also refused to grant trade concessions needed by the United 
States if prewar outlets for American goods were to be restored. 
And she did not evacuate a string of military and fur trading 
posts along the Great Lakes as called for in the Paris treaty of 
1783. As grounds for refusal to do so, she contended that the 
United States had already violated it by failing to pay British and 
Loyalist claims. Congress could not solve the problem, lacking as 
it did the military power to drive the British out of the old 
Northwest or authority to force the States to settle the claims. 
Another source of English resentment was debts owed by 
individual Americans to British creditors. 

France remained friendly, but trade with the United States was 
insignificant because the practical outlet for American raw 
materials was 'highly industrialized Britain. Since the French 
Foreign Minister, the Comte de Vergennes, at the peace negotia- 
tions ending the War for Independence had shown a willingness 
to sacrifice American claims to western territory to the interests of 
French diplomacy, relations between the two countries had cooled, 
though France remained the closest supporter of the United 

Relations with Spain had never been cordial. Resenting U.S. 
acquisition of the vast Appalachian-Mississippi territory in 1783 
and considering it a threat to her colonial empire, she did not 
recognize U.S. claims to portions of present Georgia, Alabama, 
and Mississippi, and disputed the location of the boundary 
between Florida and the United States as denned by the Paris 
treaty. Spain also used her control of New Orleans and the mouth 
of the Mississippi to attempt to persuade American settlers in the 
West, who relied on the river to ship their produce to the East and 
Europe, to forswear the United States and join her. Seeking 
accommodation, Congress authorized John Jay to negotiate with 
the Spanish, but he met with little success. 

Meantime, the Barbary States of North Africa plundered and 
exacted tribute from U.S. ships in the Mediterranean, and the 
Continental Congress could do nothing about it. 

Vitally related to the debility in foreign affairs was the 
inadequate national defense. This was attributable to the 
Confederation's reliance on State militias and its financial 
difficulties. At the very time that westerners were clamoring for 
protection from the Indians and action against the British in the 


Northwest, the Army was in a moribund state. In 1783, in 
response to frontiersmen's pleas, the best Congress could do was 
call for an increase in the size of the Regular Army from 80 to 700 
men. Before the adoption of the Constitution, even this modest 
goal was never reached, but enough State militiamen volunteered 
for Regular Army service to erect and garrison a few forts in the 
Ohio country and provide token evidence of U.S. authority there. 
From 1784 until 1789, the Army consisted only of these western 
garrisons, small detachments at West Point, N.Y., and the 
Springfield, Mass., and Pittsburgh supply depots. The "navy" of 
the War for Independence had disappeared. After the war, the few 
remaining ships were sold and the sailors discharged. 

In disputes among the States, Congress was no more successful. 
Powerless to enforce its decisions, it hesitated to make many. It 
could not regulate interstate commerce or, for example, prevent 
States from passing restrictive measures against imports from one 
another. When the "State of Franklin" (1784-88) claimed 
independence from North Carolina and a faction within the state 
sought annexation to Spain, Congress was unable to resolve the 
issue. And it could not settle the conflicting claims of New 
Hampshire and New York to the Vermont area, at a time when 
Ethan, Ira, and Levi Allen, leaders of the semi-independent state, 
were said to be discussing with the British its possible annexation 
to Canada. 

Crippled by its military and diplomatic shortcomings, the 
Continental Congress was unable to stop Indian raids along the 
frontier. The Spaniards held sway over the natives in the old 
Southwest, machinated along the border, and threatened to close 
the Mississippi River to American trade. The British intrigued in 
the old Northwest and dominated the Indians there. All these 
conditions irritated western settlers, landowners, and speculators 
and threatened to lead them into alliances with foreign powers 
that would offer protection and create a climate hospitable to 
settlement. In response to these provocations, Congress could do 
little to reassure westerners, whose secession seemed possible. As 
Washington wrote, the West was "on a pivot" ready at the "touch 
of a feather" to turn to the nation that offered the most secure 

Complicating the problems of the Confederation while at the 
same time revealing its impotence was the deplorable state of the 


economy. It was rocked not only by a postwar depression but also 
by rampant inflation, heavy British imports, and the loss of 
markets in Britain and the British West Indies. A logical move to 
counter the unfavorable balance of trade would have been 
imposition of a tariff to restrict imports or force Britain to make 
concessions in the West Indies, but the Confederation lacked 
authority to enact or apply such a measure. British merchants 
easily circumvented trade barriers erected by individual States by 

Some examples of paper money issued 
medium tended to benefit debtors at the 

by Rhode Island. This inflationary 
expense of creditors. 





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shipping their goods in through others. Another adverse factor 
was the great popularity of British products among consumers. 

In the seaports of the East and on the farms of the South and 
West, export trade languished. In colonial times, certain products 
had enjoyed a guaranteed market under British mercantilism. 
Now, denied that favored status, or similar access to the trade of 
mercantilistic France and Spain, shippers and producers and all 
who depended on them felt the financial pinch. As a result, 
business failures and property foreclosures soared and many 
people, particularly farmers, fell deeply into debt and lost their 
lands and homes. 

The economic malaise affected most segments of society: 
merchants, shippers, planters, farmers, mechanics, artisans, and 
manufacturers. The farmers, who like manufacturers suffered 
from low prices for their products and the loss of markets, were 
also saddled with crippling taxes and property payments and in 
some regions faced crop failures. The lack of a uniform national 
currency, a shortage of gold and silver, and the fluctuating value 
of currency from State to State, hampered interstate trade. State 
paper, bills of exchange, and foreign coins circulated freely. 
Economic rivalries, as well as currency and boundary disputes, 
were rife among the States. 

The widespread indebtedness, coupled with the scarcity of hard 
money, generated pressures on State legislatures to pass laws 
favorable to debtors and to issue inflationary paper money, 
unbacked by gold or silver. This medium, which kept depreciating 
in value, made it easier for debtors to satisfy their creditors, often 
men of property who were outraged by the movement. But many 
debtors were too poor to pay in any kind of money. Soldiers 
returning from the war found their farms strapped with mort- 
gages, which in some States were partly necessitated by heavy 

As a result, debtor political factions arose that advocated not 
only the printing of more paper money and other anti-deflationary 
monetary policies but also laws to prevent foreclosures. In some 
places, while Congress stood by helplessly, relations between 
creditors and debtors deteriorated almost to the point of civil war. 
In Rhode Island and elsewhere, paper money flowed with the 
speed of the presses. In other places, like Massachusetts, the 
creditor-hard money interests prevailed. 


Farmers, along with other elements of society, suffered from the economic 
decline that ensued right after the United States won its independence. This 
painting, entitled "The Residence of David Twining, 1787," depicts a farm in 
Bucks County, Pa. 

It was in the western part of that Commonwealth that the 
debtor-creditor struggle peaked in 1786-87 and culminated in a 
resort to arms and the shedding of blood. The legislature, 
dominated by wealthy eastern creditors and commercial interests 
intent on paying off the governmental debt, levied land and poll 
taxes. These burdened small farmers, who were already deep in 
debt and suffering particularly from the drop in produce prices 
caused by the cessation of trade with the British West Indies. 
While the legislature ignored protests and petitions from the 
underrepresented agrarians for stay laws, the issuance of paper 
money, and constitutional changes, many honest men, their 
mortgages foreclosed and their property confiscated, went to 


Abandoning the traditional deference to authority of their class 
and demanding their right to express themselves on governmental 
matters, the farmers first harassed tax collectors, moneylenders, 
lawyers, courts, and officials who foreclosed mortgages. In 
September 1786 ex -War for Independence Capt. Daniel Shays and 
some 600 of his followers marched on Springfield and forced the 
Commonwealth's supreme court to disband. The following 
January, leading a force of more than 1,000 insurgents, he 
attacked the lightly guarded Federal arsenal there. Militia 
defeated them, the revolt collapsed, and Shays fled to Vermont; 
later, the legislature lowered taxes. Although the uprising was 
quickly and rather easily quelled, it was only possible through the 
private subscriptions of various merchants. The response to 
Massachusetts pleas for help by the Continental Congress, which 
lacked troops and money, was belated and ineffectual. 

Shays' Rebellion, as well as similar disturbances elsewhere in 
New England and the possibilities of others in the country, raised 
the specter of anarchy to businessmen, gentlemen of property, and 
the ruling class from New Hampshire to Georgia. To them, the 
Shays episode seemed to herald a period of demagogic mob rule 
that would destroy property rights — and with them the Nation's 
future. This group feared that debt-ridden farmers in other States 
might take up arms; lamented congressional ineffectiveness in 
controlling the Shays outbreak; expressed shock at the violence; 
decried the attack on a Federal arsenal and the intimidation of 
lawyers and courts; and resented agitation for the repudiation of 
debts and the issuance of paper money. 

Many individuals in this category, some of whom even felt that 
British spies and sympathizers had fomented the uprising, 
exploited the issue politically. Although the States were already 
selecting delegates to the Constitutional Convention, the rebellion 
helped catalyze the desire for drastic remedial action. This led to 
the creation of a more nationalistic Government at Philadelphia 
than would probably otherwise have been possible. 

Many men of standing traced the rise of individuals like Shays 
to the apparent strength of "radical" elements within some of the 
States and the excessive power vested in the legislatures under the 
Confederation. This situation directly resulted from the 
Revolutionary upsurge of the 1760's and 1770's. In rebelling 
against distant British rule, Americans had rejected the monarchy, 


Pennsylvania, (T. 

By the Prefident and the Supreme Ex 
ecutive Council of the Common- 
wealth of Pennfylvania, 
A PRO C L A M AT 10 N. 

WH E R E A S the General AflVmbly of this Common!* 
wealthy by a law entituled k An act for co-operating with 
" the ftate of Maifachufetts bay, agreeable to the articles of 
t4 confederation, in the apprehending of the proclaimed rebels 
4i and ELI PARSONS/ 1 have ena&ed, 4< that rewards ad- 
" ditional to thofe offered aad promifed to be paid by the irate 
*' of MafTachuferts Bay, for the apprehending the aforesaid' 
ct rebels, be offered by this ftate •" WE do hereby offer the 
following rewards to any perfon or je.fons who ihaii, within 
the limits of this ftate, apprehend the rebels aforefaid, and 
ecure them in the gaol of the city and county^of Philadelphia, 
- \iz For the apprehending of the faid Daniel Shays, and 
fecuring him as a fore laid, the reward of One hundred and I'ifty 
Pounds lawful' money of the {tate of Maffachufetts Bay, and 
Q*ie Hundred Pounds lawful money of chis ft ate ; and for the 
apprehending the faid Luke Day, Adam Wheeler and Eli 
Par fori Sj and fecuring them as aforefaid, the reward (refpec- 
tively) of One Hundred Pounds lawful money of MafTachufettS 
Bay and Fifty Pounds lawful money ot this ftate : And all 
judges, jnftices, fherilTs and conftables are hereby ft r icily en- 
joined and required to make diligent fearcb and enquiry after, 
and to ufe their Tit mod endeavours to apprehend and fecure the 
faid Daniel Shays, Luke Day, Adam Wheeler and Eli Par- 
funs, their aiders, abettors and comforters, ar.dewry of them, 
io that they may be dealt with according to law. 

GIVEN in Council, under the tand of the Prefident, and 
the Seal of the »'- ate, at Philadelphia, this tenth 
day of March, in the year of our Lord one thoufacd 
(even hundred and eightv-feven. 


JOHN ARMS'! RONCi, jun. Secretary. 

Shays' Rebellion alarmed men of property and creditors across the land. This 
proclamation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offered a reward for Daniel 
Shays and three other ringleaders. 


scorned the arbitrary exercise of executive authority, and placed 
their faith in their legislatures. All of them except those in 
Connecticut and Rhode Island, which merely modified their royal 
charters, had drawn up new written constitutions during the 
Revolution. Because the colonial assemblies had fought for the 
rights of Americans and the Royal Governors had been the 
principal exponents of British repression, most of these documents 
had granted extensive powers to the legislatures and few to the 
Governors, who were reduced essentially to administrators. 

Since the drafting of the constitutions, though the legislatures 
had guided the States through the war, these bodies had too often 
looked to their own parochial interests instead of those of the whole 
country. By the 1780's, in some States neighborly cooperation had 
almost ceased to exist and had given way to jealousy, mistrust, 
and opportunism. 

Congressional effectiveness depended partly on national confi- 
dence, which by early 1787 had mostly evaporated. The people 
placed their faith in the State governments, which could levy 
taxes and duties; maintain militia; regulate commerce; and, when 
necessary, use force to maintain order. Members of the Continent- 
al Congress often did not even bother to attend its sessions. 
During one 4-month period in 1783-84, a quorum of States could 
be mustered but three times ; only with difficulty could a sufficient 
number be assembled to ratify the Treaty of Paris ending the War 
for Independence. As the prestige of Congress continued to dim, 
the quality of its personnel as a whole declined. Many of the best 
men stayed at home near their legislatures, where the real power 

Despite the extent and seriousness of the problems, numerous 
attempts at overall revision or the correction of particular 
deficiencies in the Articles of Confederation had failed. Sometimes 
a majority of the States approved the changes, but the consent of 
the required 13 could never be obtained. Thus, chances for 
constitutional revision within prescribed governmental channels 
were virtually nonexistent. By 1787, the contention of thinkers of 
the day who held that republics were ineffective in large countries 
seemed accurate. 

AGAINST this background, was it any wonder that a movement 
originated to revise the Articles of Confederation? Many leaders 


believed that the country required a more truly national Govern- 
ment to replace the existing loose compact of States. Although 
many of the prevalent difficulties would probably be encountered 
by any new nation while establishing its sovereignty and 
authority over its people, mosc of them were attributed to 
weaknesses in the Confederation. 

Maryland State House, where the Annapolis Convention met in September 1786. 

DESPITE all the weaknesses of the Confederation that might 
have sparked reform, it was the congressional lack of power to 
regulate commerce that brought about the Mount Vernon 
Conference and the Annapolis Convention, two interstate meet- 
ings of limited scope. These led to the Constitutional Convention. 
The Mount Vernon Conference, held in March 1785, began at 
Alexandria, Va., and concluded at George Washington's nearby 
estate. Representatives of the legislatures of Maryland and 
Virginia, who convened basically for the purpose of discussing 


mutual navigation problems along the lower Potomac, also 
achieved agreement on maritime use of the Chesapeake Bay, 
fishing and harbor rights, criminal jurisdiction, import duties, 
currency control, and other matters. Although James Madison did 
not attend, he had been the prime mover behind the conference. 
Washington, whose canal-oriented Patowmack Company sought 
to develop east-west trade and who was concerned about foreign 
intrigue among western settlers, sympathized with the goals of 
the meeting even if he was not instrumental in convening it. 

Spurred by the success of this interstate diplomacy, in January 
1786 the Virginia legislature, acting on a resolution possibly 
drafted by Madison, invited all the States to another conference. 
This one was to deal with domestic and foreign trade and make 
recommendations for their improvement to the States and the 
Continental Congress. 

The Annapolis Convention met in September 1786 at the 
Maryland State House. In attendance were 12 representatives of 5 
States (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and 
Virginia), including Chairman John Dickinson, Alexander Hamil- 
ton, Abraham Clark, William C. Houston, George Read, Richard 
Bassett, Edmund J. Randolph, and James Madison. Delegates 
from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and North 
Carolina either did not participate or arrived too late to take part; 
Maryland, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Georgia did not make 
any appointments. 

Because of the sparse representation, the commissioners took no 
action on the announced topic. Hamilton and Madison, however, 
convinced them that they should exceed their limited mandate 
and recommend a national meeting to consider the adequacy of 
the Articles of Confederation. The carefully couched report, 
drafted by Hamilton, proposed that all the States and the 
Continental Congress endorse another conference to be convened 
at Philadelphia on the second Monday of May in 1787. Its 
purpose, in essence, would be the framing of measures to 
strengthen the Articles. 

When the delegates rode away from Annapolis, they could not 
be sure that the proposed meeting would even take place. But the 
unfavorable national economic situation among other factors, and 
possibly the outbreak of debtor disturbances in Massachusetts 
and New Hampshire, prompted the Continental Congress to act 



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after seven States (Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North 
Carolina, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Georgia) had already 
authorized delegations and named most of their representatives. 
On February 21, 1787, that body passed a resolution calling for 
the new convention: 

Whereas there is provision in the Articles of Confederation & 
perpetual Union for making alterations therein by the Assent of a 
Congress of the United States and of the legislatures of the several 
States ; And whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in 
the present Confederation, as a mean to remedy which several of the 
States and particularly the State of New York by express instructions 
to their delegates in Congress have suggested a convention for the 
purposes expressed in the following resolution and such Convention 
appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these 
states a firm national government 

Resolved that in the Opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the 
second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall 
have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for 
the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation 
and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such 

Among the prominent men who were not elected as delegates to the 
Constitutional Convention were Thomas Jefferson (left) and John Adams (right), 
who were on diplomatic service in Europe. 


alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in 
Congress and confirmed by the States render the federal constitution 
•adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the 

ALL 13 States appointed delegates except Rhode Island, an 
insufficient number of whose leaders sympathized with the 
nationalistic goals of the Convention. A total of more than 70 
individuals were originally nominated, but a substantial number 
of them did not accept the assignment or did not attend. Their 
reasons included opposition to constitutional revision, poor 
health, family illness, and the press of personal or professional 

Some of the men in this category were prominent, including 
Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Nelson, Jr., and Patrick Henry of 
Virginia; Abraham Clark of New Jersey; George Walton of 
Georgia; Henry Laurens of South Carolina; and Maryland's 
Thomas Stone and Charles Carroll of Carrollton. All these 
individuals except Henry and Laurens had signed the Declaration 
of Independence. Part of the group who rejected nomination or did 
not take part in the Convention later favored the new frame of 
Government and supported ratification of the Constitution; others 
opposed it. 

Various national leaders and eminently qualified people were 
not even elected. Among these were such men as Thomas 
Jefferson and John Adams, who were on diplomatic duty in 
Europe; Samuel Adams, whose political fortunes were temporarily 
on the decline; and John Hancock, who was busy as Governor of 

New York named the smallest delegation, three; Pennsylvania 
the largest, eight. Attendance ranged from New York, which for 
much of the time had only one unofficial representative (Hamil- 
ton) on hand, and New Hampshire, with two late arrivals, to 
Pennsylvania, whose eight delegates all participated throughout 
most of the Convention. The States usually paid all or part of their 
representatives' expenses, and apparently in some instances 
compensated them. 

Each State specified what portion of its delegation needed to be 
present to act for it and cast its vote. The credentials of all the 
delegates except those from thinly populated Delaware authorized 
them to approve such changes in the Articles of Confederation as 


Four national leaders who did not attend the Constitutional Convention. 
Upper left, Richard Henry Lee; upper right, Patrick Henry; lower left, John 
Jay; lower right, Samuel Chase. The latter two were not elected, and the 
first two declined to serve. 


they deemed desirable. Delaware directed its emissaries not to 
agree to any changes in the basis of congressional representation 
from the one State-one vote system in the Continental Congress, 
though during the Convention the Delawareans disregarded these 
instructions when the large and small States reached a compro- 
mise on this matter. 

MANY of the delegates arrived at Philadelphia bone-weary and 
dusty or mud-splattered from their tedious journeys. The unpaved 
and rutted roads, dangerous bridges, treacherous fords, and 
unreliable ferries made cross-country travel hazardous, undepend- 
able, and unpleasant even in the best of weather. Stagelines, 
which frequently involved partial boat travel, were the usual mode 
of transportation. Three lines connected Philadelphia with New 
York City; three with Baltimore; and one with Annapolis. Some of 
the framers, however, made the trip mainly by ship, and 
Washington drove up from Mount Vernon in his carriage. 
Personnel coming from New York City, including the sizable 
contingent from the Continental Congress, were among the most 
fortunate. That city, under favorable circumstances, was less than 
a day's journey away by stage or stage-boat combination. But 
Virginia and the southern part of New England required 4 days 
on the road; and, more distant points, even longer. 

Philadelphia, founded in 1682 by William Penn and the 
metropolis of the Nation, had a population of more than 40,000. 
Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, it was a center of commerce, 
science, medicine, and culture. Fashionable gentlemen in pow- 
dered wigs and velvet and satin clothes and their elegant ladies 
ambled along the brick sidewalks in the prosperous and booming 
downtown area among mechanics in felt hats, leather aprons, and 
buckskin breeches; visiting farmers in homespun and moccasins; 
black slaves and freedmen; foreign and domestic sailors; and an 
occasional Indian. The principal thoroughfares, often cleaned by 
prisoners from the city jail, were paved and lighted at night. More 
than 500 iron-handled pumps throughout the area provided the 
citizens with water. 

By 1787 expansion had resulted in urban sprawl, and the initial 
grid pattern of broad streets and spacious lots had in some 
sections given way to narrow alleys and crowded houses. 
Sanitation problems plagued poor residents. Insects bred in the 






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Credentials of delegates varied widely in format and content. Here are those of 
William Houstoun of Georgia. 


piles of trash, livery stables, and backyard privies. The din was 
distracting. The air reverberated with the sounds of construction, 
calls from street hawkers, church bells, and the "thundering of 
Coaches, Chariots, Chaises, Waggons, Drays, and the whole 
Fraternity of Noise." 

Many Philadelphians sought refuge from the summer heat on 
their balconies and piazzas under awnings or in their shaded 
gardens. In the evenings, some people braved the mosquitoes to 
cool off on benches flanking the front doors. But by 11 o'clock 
most of them had retired, leaving the streets to members of the 
watch, who hourly until dawn called out the time and weather. 

Blinds protected the Convention members, sitting in the 
Pennsylvania State House (present Independence Hall), from the 
worst of the afternoon sun, but they were frequently uncomfor- 
table in their close-fitting clothes and wigs, especially the New 
Englanders in their heavy woolen suits. When the windows were 
shut to reduce the noise, the air became oppressive; when they 
were opened, flies buzzed in. 

Most of the delegates took accommodations near the State 
House. The majority lodged and boarded in hostelries or 
roominghouses, but Washington stayed at Robert Morris' elegant 
townhouse and Elbridge Gerry rented a house for himself and his 
family. Most of the framers, however, were separated from their 
loved ones. To reduce living costs and perhaps to quell any 
loneliness, some of them stayed two to a room. The Indian Queen 
Tavern, the city's most comfortable inn where many stayed, 
became an informal Convention center and the management even 
provided them with a private common hall. Another popular spot 
was the City Tavern, furnished in the London mode. In addition 
to these inns, well-patronized dining and drinking spots were the 
George and the Black Horse. 

During their free time, when they were not discussing Conven- 
tion proceedings, visiting with one another, or writing letters 
home, the delegates found many diversions, particularly during 
the two adjournments. Social affairs were numerous, though some 
of the less sophisticated individuals disliked the excess of 
"etiquette and nonsense so fashionable." Some men were invited 
to dinner by Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, and other 
members of the Pennsylvania delegation, who all resided in the 
city or its environs. 



Philadelphia about 1750, as viewed from the New Jersey shore. 

Various framers visited John Bartram's botanical gardens 
across the Schuylkill River; heard a July 4 oration at a Lutheran 
Church; dined at the splendid fish-eating clubs; and probably 
patronized Peale's Museum. A common pastime was likely 
reading, for which the Library Company collection in Carpenters' 
Hall, only a block from the State House, was conveniently located. 
The shops and twice-weekly farm markets offered an enticing 
assortment of food and imported goods. Some delegates went 
fishing. From time to time, others, particularly those from nearby 
States, took trips home to see their loved ones or conduct personal 
and professional business. And, especially on weekends or during 
adjournments, a few went sightseeing to nearby areas. 

Washington, the supreme national hero, was welcomed to town 
on May 13 by pealing bells, an artillery salute, and an escort of 
the City Light Horse Troop. Quickly swept up in a whirl of social 
affairs and ceremonies, he received the City Light Horse and 
infantry militiamen; attended a Roman Catholic Mass; dined 
with the Society of the Cincinnati, the Sons of St. Patrick, and at 
the homes of various prominent people; visited several country 
estates, including those of Robert Morris and Thomas Mifflin; 
drank tea at different houses most every day; rode horses for 
exercise; sat for a portrait by Charles Willson Peale; and attended 
plays, concerts, and poetry readings. He also paid a nostalgic visit 
to Valley Forge and made an excursion to the Trenton Iron Works. 

But, despite all the social hubbub, for most of the delegates it 
was a busy, lonely summer taken up with work, working dinners, 
and not much real leisure. 

THE number of delegates who served at Philadelphia totaled 55, 
though they were not all on hand for the entire Convention. Some 


Philadelphia, the site of the Convention, was the national metropolis. Pictured 
here is a scene about a decade later along Arch Street. The Second Presbyterian 
Church looms over the scene. 

arrived late, left early, or were temporarily absent for various 
lengths of time. The 55 men, 39 of whom subscribed to the 
Constitution, were as follows (nonsubscribers indicated by aster- 

Baldwin, Abraham (Ga.) 
Bassett (Basset), Richard (Del.) 
Bedford, Gunning, Jr. (Del.) 
Blair, John (Va.) 
Blount, William (N.C.) 
Brearly (Brearley), David (N.J.) 
Broom, Jacob (Del.) 
Butler, Pierce (S.C.) 
Carroll, Daniel (Md.) 
Clymer, George (Pa.) 
Davie, William R. (N.C.)* 
Dayton, Jonathan (N.J.) 
Dickinson, John (Del.) 

Ellsworth (Elsworth), Oliver 

Few, William (Ga.) 
Fitzsimons (FitzSimons; Fitzsim 

mons), Thomas (Pa.) 
Franklin, Benjamin (Pa.) 
Gerry, Elbridge (Mass.)* 
Gilman, Nicholas (N.H.) 
Gorham, Nathaniel (Mass.) 
Hamilton, Alexander (N.Y.) 
Houston, William C. (N.J.)* 
Houstoun, William (Ga.)* 
Ingersoll, Jared (Pa.) 


Jenifer, Daniel of St. Thomas 

Johnson, William S. (Conn.) 
King, Rufus (Mass.) 
Langdon, John (N.H.) 
Lansing, John, Jr. (N.Y.)* 
Livingston, William (N.J.) 
McClurg, James (Va.)* 
McHenry, James (Md.) 
Madison, James (Va.) 
Martin, Alexander (N.C.)* 
Martin, Luther (Md.)* 
Mason, George (Va.)* 
Mercer, John F. (Md.)* 
Mifflin, Thomas (Pa.) 
Morris, Gouverneur (Pa.) 
Morris, Robert (Pa.) 

Paterson (Patterson), William 

Pierce, William L. (Ga.)* 
Pinckney, Charles (S.C.) 
Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth 

Randolph, Edmund J. (Va.)* 
Read, George (Del.) 
Rutledge, John (S.C.) 
Sherman, Roger (Conn.) 
Spaight, Richard D., Sr. (N.C.) 
Strong, Caleb (Mass.)* 
Washington, George (Va.) 
Williamson, Hugh (N.C.) 
Wilson, James (Pa.) 
Wythe, George (Va.)* 
Yates, Robert (N.Y.)* 

Attending all or practically every session were 29 men: Bassett, 
Bedford, Blair, Brearly, Broom, Butler, Clymer, Fitzsimons, 
Franklin, Gerry, Gorham, Ingersoll, Jenifer, Johnson, King, 
Madison, Mason, Mifflin, Robert Morris, Charles Pinckney, 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Randolph, Read, Rutledge, Sher- 
man, Spaight, Washington, Williamson, and Wilson. Ten individ- 
uals missed only a few weeks: Baldwin, Davie, Dayton, Dickin- 
son, Ellsworth, Livingston, Alexander Martin, Luther Martin, 
Gouverneur Morris, and Strong. Twelve persons were away for 
long periods: Blount, Carroll, Few, Gilman, Hamilton, Houstoun, 
Langdon, Lansing, McClurg, McHenry, Paterson, and Yates. 
Four men attended for extremely short stretches: Houston, 
Mercer, Pierce, and Wythe. Reasons for absences included 
personal and family illness, service in Congress, other profession- 
al or personal business, late appointment, early departure, 
boredom or a feeling of uselessness, faith in the views and actions 
of fellow State delegates, and opposition to the prevalent national- 

Although the group hardly matched Jefferson's characterization 
as an "assembly of demigods," it was a distinguisned one. 
Statesmen, legislators, patriots, and leaders in commerce and 
agriculture for the most part, the men were as a whole highly 
talented and well educated. They also enjoyed extensive political 
and worldly experience. 


Nearly all of the body had much at stake in the experiment in 
Government that was called the United States and they were 
determined to see that experiment succeed. Four-fifths, or 44, of 
the 55 individuals were serving in or had been Members of the 
Continental Congress. Most of them had heartily backed the 
rebellion against Great Britain, and about half had fought in the 

City Tavern, where many of the delegates to the Convention stayed, as it 
appeared around 1800. 


Continental Army or State militia. Eight (Clymer, Franklin, 
Gerry, Robert Morris, Read, Sherman, Wilson, and Wythe) had 
signed the Declaration of Independence [see Signers of the 
Declaration, Volume XVIII in this series]. All but a few had 
participated in or were at the time actively involved in colonial, 
State, and local governments — from minor county offices to 
governorships. Many had helped draft the constitutions of their 
States or codified their laws. And a large number were to assume 
important posts, including the Presidency (Washington and 
Madison), under the Government they were to establish and in the 
State governments. 

A considerable number of the Founding Fathers were friends or 
acquaintances. Many had attended college together or been 
political or business colleagues. Most of the men were wealthy or 
well-to-do and lived under comfortable circumstances. Land, 
slaves, and commerce were the principal sources of wealth. 
Almost a third of the group sprang from aristocratic families; 
practically all the rest, from those that were respectable and 
substantial. Not much more than a handful of individuals were of 
humble origins or of modest means. 

By profession, the law predominated. This was the pursuit of 
more than half the delegates, though a substantial number were 
businessmen, merchants, planters, and large-scale farmers. In 
numerous cases, because of multiple occupations, overlapping 
occurred. Only two owned small farms. At least 12 men received 
their major incomes in the form of salaries from public office. 
Three were physicians, and the same number had retired from 
active economic pursuits. 

As a group, the framers were relatively youthful. The average 
age was 43. The youngest was Jonathan Dayton at 26. The eldest 
was 81 -year-old Franklin, who was so infirm that prisoners from 
the city jail usually had to carry him from his nearby home to the 
sessions in his sedan chair, which had been made specially for 
him after his return from France. 

About half the delegates had attended college, principally at 
William and Mary, Harvard, Yale, College of New Jersey 
(present Princeton), King's College (Columbia), and the College 
of Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania). Several men had 
studied abroad and held or were to hold graduate and honorary 
degrees. A considerable number were privately educated or self- 



The best known and respected were Washington of Virginia and 
Franklin of Pennsylvania. Their presence not only cooled 
passions but also lent dignity and authority to the proceedings 
and helped to assure their success. Madison of Virginia, a political 
genius, was an excellent debater and a keen student and 
practitioner of government. The first to arrive in Philadelphia, on 
May 3, he had carefully prepared himself by studying various 
forms of governments since ancient times and had formed a 

A correfpondent obferves, that as the time approach- 
es for opening the bufiriefs of the federal convention, 
it is natural that every lover of his country Ihould ex* 
perience fome anxiety for the fate of an expedient ft> 
neceffary, yet fo precarious. Upon the event of this 
great council, indeed, depends every thing th3t can he 
efTential to the dignity and (lability of the national cha- 
racter, The Veteran who has toiled in the field, the 
Statefman who has laboured in the cabinet, and every 
man who participates in the bleflings of America!! In- 
dependence, muit feel that all the gioiy of the paH:. and 
al! the fortune of the future, are involved in this mo- 
mentous undertaking. The imperfections and debihtr 
ef the league, framed during a (trug^Ic for liberty niul 
political efciftence, were obfeured and concealed by the 
ardor of enterprise, and the proximity of danger. The 
feelings of the people were then more obligatory than 
the pofitive injunction of law ; and men, in the ptfrftiic 
of an important object, required no confideration * ? 
difcharge their duty, bat their interefts and their pafu- 
ons Though the feed era I compact, therefore, tin** 
fortified, might he adequate to the acqnifttlon % yet from 
the nature and difpoiition of human affairs, it becomes 
inadequate to the prefervation of fovereign power. U«^~ 
kfs fome rule is prefcribed, fome motive introduced* 
which in a (late of tranquility will enforce a regard U> 
the general interefi, equ,tl to the voluntary en thufiafn* 
arifing from common fuffcrings and apprebenfio4i.% wer 
have exchanged tyranny for anarchy — "we Uavc 

This extract from a Philadelphia newspaper on the eve of the Convention reveals 
how concerned some Americans were about its success. 


realistic conception of what a government should be. He was to 
play a predominant role at the Convention. 

Other outstanding delegates included Randolph, Mason, and 
Wythe of Virginia; Gerry, King, and Gorham of Massachusetts; 
Sherman, Ellsworth, and Johnson of Connecticut; Hamilton of 
New York; Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Mifflin, and Wilson 
of Pennsylvania; Dickinson of Delaware; Luther Martin of 
Maryland; Williamson of North Carolina; Livingston of New 
Jersey; and Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and 
Rutledge of South Carolina. 

Despite wide differences in temperament and political views, 
most of the framers were nationalists and believed that the 
Articles of Confederation needed substantive revision. Based on 
their experience with the inadequacies of the Confederation, 
practically all of them were united in the belief that the United 
States should be a single, unified Nation, not an agglomeration of 
semi-independent States, and they transferred that faith to the 

Probably few of the group would really have considered a 
monarchy or the abolition of the States; nor more than two or 
three the elimination of the central Government and the division 
of the country into three or four confederacies. All the men were 
fully aware that their work was unprecedented and complex. 
Major common concerns were the preservation and prosperity of 
the Union, establishment of a suitable national defense, fear of 
tyranny, protection of property rights, and the prevention of 
domestic discord. 

Sometimes torn between the wishes of their constituents or 
States and their vision of the new Nation, concerned for posterity 
yet respectful of the past, and united in purpose, the delegates 
embarked upon their task. 

DURING a 4-month period between May 25 and September 17, 
1787, the "Federal" or "Grand" Convention, as the newspapers 
called it, created a new frame of Government for the United 
States. On the scheduled opening date, May 14, the conferees who 
were on hand convened in the Pennsylvania State House's 
assembly, or east, room — the same one where the Declaration of 
Independence had been approved and signed. But, because of bad 
weather, travel difficulties, and other reasons, only about 10 were 


present, apparently only just from Pennsylvania and Virginia — 
but in sufficient numbers for State quorums. 

During the 11 -day interim while awaiting a quorum of States 
and while other delegates kept reporting, many of the attendees 
held private discussions and exchanged opinions. But the 
Virginia delegation, led by Gov. Edmund J. Randolph and spurred 
by Madison, met daily to prepare for the Convention. Its early 
arrival and thorough planning were to place it in a position of 

On May 25 the daily official meetings of the main body yielded 
the necessary quorum of seven States. On that date, 29 delegates 
were present in sufficient numbers from Delaware, New Jersey, 

Robert Morris' townhouse on High (present Market) Street, where Washington 
stayed during the Convention and later as President. In 1787 he had originally 
planned to reside at Mrs. House's rooming place, but Morris persuaded him to 
change his mind. 

Philadelphia, May 28. 

Thurfday arrived the ihio Charlefton, capt. AU 
libone, in 9 days from Charleston, and the hri^ El 

Buon Gen, caprain — ; — , in 42 days from Cadiz. 
With captrin Al'ihoue came paflengers, 

Mrs. Young and her two daughters 

Mils Randolph and M'fs Gualdo 

Mr. Graves, confui for the fiate of South Ca- 
rolina, fnaon the United Netherlands 

General Pinkne y and iady 

Co'one! Harriot 

Major Butler, his lady and four daughters 

Captain Rut er 

Captain Smith 

Mr, Fhrtfborne 

Mr. Gardner 

Maft.-rs J';hn and Peter Simmons, and fevcral 
Gere^a! Ptnkney and major Burler, we hear, arc 
Relegates to the convention. 

Friday, at the Itaie houfe in this city, (even 
Rates were fill !v reprefcncfd in convention: thefe 
forming a quorum* they proceeded to the choice of 
a president, and his excellency general Waihingtou 
was unanimoutly elected to that important Nation, 
Major William J.nkfon was at the fame timeap- 
pointed fecretary to this honourable board. 

On Saturday morning, between the hours of 
twelve and nn?, as Mr. Peter Knox, from Barren- 
lull, was comirg to this city on h-orfebatk lomaiket, 
he was attacked a little to the Couth ward of the 
bridge over Pt-ggs Run, near'the one-mile floneiby 
three footpads, 3 M of them dreflcd in (hort blue 
jackets and trowfers ; they demanded his money, 
knocked him off his horie with a club, bruifed h>s 
head, wounded him in the bread with the but end 
of a piftol, and robbed him of his hat, fi ! k hand* 
kerchief, and five fdver dollars. 

Some of the delegates, including Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Pierce Butler, 
arrived in Philadelphia via boat. 


New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and 
Virginia, plus one each from Massachusetts and Georgia. 

Not until July 23, however, when the two New Hampshire 
emissaries arrived, were all 12 States that were to attend 
represented. Claiming financial distress but possibly also evidenc- 
ing inertia or suspicion of the goals of the Convention, New 
Hampshire had not provided funds for its delegates, one of whom 
paid both their expenses. Meanwhile, though, on July 10, two of 
the three New York representatives had departed. This left only 
Alexander Hamilton from that State in an unofficial capacity and 
10 States officially taking part until July 23, after which 11 did so 
for the duration of the Convention. 

Between May 25 and September 17, except for Saturday May 26 
and during the two adjournments (July 3-4 and July 26-August 
6), sessions were held 6 days a week. The hours usually ranged 
between 10 or 11 a.m. and 3 or 4 p.m., though sometimes they were 
shorter or longer. But the expenditure of time in sitting on 
committees, drafting papers and speeches, and otherwise prepar- 
ing for the sessions made for long days for most of the group. 

In April, before the Convention, the Continental Congress had 
extended the franking privilege to the delegates. How other costs 
were to be defrayed was not clear at the time of the meeting; many 
of the representatives thought they would need to do so out of 

William Jackson, secretary of the Convention. 


their own pockets. Later in 1787, however, after the Convention, 
the Continental Congress was to pay the salaries of the secretary, 
doorkeeper, messenger, and the clerks who transcribed and 
engrossed the Constitution, as well as stationery charges; the 
Second U.S. Congress, in 1793, was to pay the printing bill. 

MOST of the first week's business was devoted to organization. 
On the first day, Friday, in a fateful move, Washington was 
unanimously chosen as presiding officer. Although he was not to 
say much during the deliberations, he guided them smoothly and 
his presence helped make the work of the Convention acceptable 
to the Nation. 

Maj. William Jackson was designated as secretary. Unfortu- 
nately, he performed his recordkeeping duties indifferently. Had it 
not been for a few individuals who kept journals or notes — 
especially Madison, but also Yates, Lansing, King, McHenry, 
Paterson, Hamilton, and Pierce — not much would be known about 
the details of creation of the Constitution. 

Credentials were accepted and read. Most of the rules that were 
adopted for the conduct of business followed those of the 
Continental Congress. As in that body, voting was to be recorded 
in geographical order north to south from New Hampshire to 
Georgia and be by State rather than individual delegate. 
Decisions of the majority could be reconsidered during the life of 
the Convention and were to be revocable. 

Finally, it was quickly decided to keep the deliberations secret. 
Nothing "spoken in the House" was to be "printed, or otherwise 
published or communicated without leave." Doormen stood at the 
entrances of the meeting room throughout the sessions, and the 
public remained essentially uninformed about the deliberations. 
As a result, only gradually over the course of many years did the 
basic story of the formulation of the Constitution emerge. 

Many of the delegates believed that only an atmosphere free of 
publicity and external pressures would insure the free and frank 
exchange of ideas and allow the participants to speak their hearts 
with candor and sincerity. At the same time, because they could 
change their minds and bargain with their colleagues, compro- 
mise would be facilitated. Temporary rashnesses would not 
appear on the public record, and outsiders would be prevented 
from becoming aroused over any disputes. 

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First page of Secretary Jackson's journal, May 25, 1787, date ot the first full- 
quorum meeting of the Constitutional Convention. 



Yet, whatever the justifications, the secrecy did demonstrate a 
certain mistrust of the people; some of the delegates would never 
have dared deliver their Convention speeches, which contradicted 
things they said in public, to their constituents. Opponents of the 
secrecy rule claimed it would arouse public suspicion of the 
motives of the conferees. 

THE first substantive business was conducted on May 29-30. On 
those dates, evincing the planning and initiative of the Virginia 
delegation, Randolph presented a speech outlining the weaknesses 
of the Confederation and offering a series of 15 resolutions to 
remedy them. These came to be known collectively as the Virginia 
Plan. It resulted in the first major conflict and compromise: the 
large versus small State issue. Despite its prominence at this time, 
this controversy was to have almost no bearing on the evolution 
of the constitutional system ; rather, the great disputes were to be 
intersectional in nature. 

Because Virginia had been one of the leaders in calling the 
Convention and was the most populous and in many ways the 
most powerful State, she played a major role in the proceedings. 
The Virginia Plan was the product of several minds, but 
preeminently that of Madison. By conceiving a relatively simple 
and clear plan and arranging for its early introduction, he seized 
a commanding position for the nationalists, who were never to 
relinquish it. 

Far more than an attempt to revise the Articles of Confedera- 
tion, the plan represented nothing less than a call for a new 
constitution. As such, it exceeded the desires of a number of the 
delegates, many of whom also felt it violated congressional and 
constituent instructions. Considering the extent of this opposition, 
surprisingly the plan was not seriously challenged as a whole 
until June 15. Nevertheless, it was a key point of debate 
throughout the proceedings and became the partial basis of the 

Reducing the States to a clearly subordinate position, the 
Virginia Plan called for a strong central government, which 
would unlike that of the Confederation consist of three separate 
branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The number of 
persons who would constitute the executive office was not 
specified. The legislature was to elect the executive, which was 
eligible for only one term. The single-house Continental Congress 


would be replaced by a two-house, or bicameral, legislature. The 
plan suggested that the people elect the lower house; utilizing lists 
of persons nominated by the State legislatures, the lower would 
elect the upper. In both cases, representation would be based upon 
"quotas of contributions" [State monetary contributions] or the 
"number of free inhabitants," rather than upon State parity as 
under the Articles of Confederation, where Virginia held no more 
voting power than tiny Delaware. 

A second sharp departure from the Articles was the vesting of 
broad authority in the proposed national legislature. It was 
authorized to pass laws on all matters "to which the separate 
States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United 
States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual [State] 
Legislation." The legislature was also empowered to negate State 
laws that in its opinion contravened the constitution and to force 

A "council of revision," made up of the executive and a number 

Although Gov. Edmund J. Randolph did not sign the Constitution, he introduced 
the Virginia Plan and attended the Convention right up until its end. 


of judges, could veto legislative acts. The plan also proposed that 
the legislature would choose and pay a separate judiciary. 
Because the legislature would elect both the executive and the 
judges, the three branches lacked the independence ultimately 
granted them in the Constitution. 

The remainder of the proposals were less startling. New States 
were to be admitted with less than a unanimous vote of the 
legislature, and each State and Territory was to have a republican 
form of government, as were the old ones. The Continental 
Congress was to continue until the new government took over. 
State officers were to take an oath to support the new constitution. 
Finally, the Continental Congress and then State conventions, 
"expressly chosen by the people," were to approve the new frame 
of government. 

The plan was not a proposal for a "federal" or "confederated" 
union as those words were understood in 1787. Instead, it called 
for a consolidated "national" government. This was bound to 
provoke controversy. The delegates resolved to refer the plan and 
one offered by Charles Pinckney of South Carolina for a "federal 
government" to a committee of the whole, where less stringent 
rules would stimulate informal debate and allow the formulation 
of special proposals for consideration of the Convention. Daily, 
Washington called the meeting to order and surrendered the chair 
to Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts. Although the former took 
no part in the debates, he voted on all motions made by the 
committee of the whole; and, at other times when the Virginia 
vote was divided, he cast his vote, usually in accordance with 
Madison's views. 

Ignoring the Pinckney proposal for the most part, the committee 
would debate the Virginia Plan from May 30 through June 13. 

ON May 30, by a vote of six (Delaware, Massachusetts, North 
Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia) to one 
(Connecticut), with New York divided, the delegates resolved to 
proceed toward the establishment of a "national Government . . . 
consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive, & Judiciary." 
Randolph had suggested this wording as a substitute for the first 
resolution of the Virginia Plan, which had stressed amendment of 
the Articles of Confederation. This action in effect represented a 
commitment almost from the beginning to scrap the Articles and 


focus attention on a totally new frame and form of government. 

Over the next 2 weeks, the committee of the whole debated the 
implications of this resolution and the various provisions of the 
Virginia Plan. Many disagreements arose over various points, but 
the deepest and most persistent was over the matter of representa- 
tion in the proposed legislature. For obvious reasons, most of the 
delegates of States with large populations or wealth or those such 
as Georgia with sizable areas that might be expected to be 
populous in the future favored representation based upon those 

But many ardent nationalists from the small States — Paterson 
of New Jersey and Sherman of Connecticut for example — resented 
the loss of equal power they enjoyed under the Articles of 
Confederation and feared they would be dominated or even 
swallowed up by the large States. Some of these men felt their 
credentials did not authorize them to support such a proposal or 
that their States would not approve such an action. This group 
insisted that representation in at least one house should be by 
State as it was in the Continental Congress. At first, it appeared 
that the large States would prevail, but by mid- June it had become 
clear that the small ones would not budge and that some form of 
compromise was imperative. 

On Wednesday, June 13, the initial debate ended, and the 
committee reported out 19 resolutions. The Virginia Plan had 
undergone some modifications. Madison's treasured "council of 
revision" had been thrown out. So had the authority of the 
national government to use force against intractable States. A 3- 
year term was specified for the lower house, and a 7 -year term for 
the upper. The minimum age for both was 30. The central 
government, instead of the States, was to pay members of the two 
houses — an important step in making Congress responsible to the 
national rather than to the State governments. The executive, now 
denned as one person, was to be elected by the national legislature 
for a single 7-year term. To balance the executive's dependence 
upon the legislature, he was given the power to veto legislative 
acts unless overridden by two-thirds of both houses. Finally, the 
upper house would choose a "supreme Tribunal" of judges. Most 
other provisions were virtually identical with the original Virginia 

A key element of that plan retained in the committee report was 

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the principle of variable representation based upon the relative 
population and/ or wealth of the States. Determination of the 
ratios involved was to be a major point in the continuing debate. 
Despite serious disagreements remaining'among the delegates, 
it became clear that most of them sought a national government 
and that an increasing number favored granting some form of 
sovereignty to the people at large as well as the States. This 
contradicted classical political theory, which held that sovereign- 
ty could have only a single source and the body politic a single 

IN mid-June, however, the sovereignty issue still needed to be 
settled. Several features of the revised Virginia Plan continued to 
alienate small-State delegates. They countered with their own 
plan. On June 14 Paterson asked for a day's delay so that he 
might submit a " purely federal" scheme as an alternative to the 
Virginia Plan. The fruit of his labor and that of Sherman and 
others was the New Jersey, or Paterson, Plan, introduced on June 

This proposal consisted of a set of nine resolutions designed to 
revise and strengthen the Articles of Confederation without 
abandoning them or changing their character as a league of 
States focused around the Continental Congress — all many of the 
delegates felt they were authorized to do. New and expanded 
powers were proposed for Congress, in which each State was still 
to hold one vote. Included were the raising of revenue through 
import duties, stamp taxes, and postage; power to regulate 
commerce among the States and with foreign nations; authority 
to force the States, when approved by an unspecified number of 
them, to support the government financially and militarily; and 
the right to use armed force to compel obedience to federal law by 
individuals as well as States. 

Dividing the federal authority into legislative, executive, and 
judicial branches like the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan 
proposed a plural executive, elected by Congress for a single term 
and subject to removal by a majority of the State executives. The 
executive would have authority to appoint a supreme court. 

The New Jersey Plan was surely less radical than the national- 
istic Virginia Plan, but it was not "purely federal." The sixth 
resolution clearly established the primacy of congressional acts 
and treaties — a provision hardly in keeping with the notion of a 
voluntary compact of 13 separate but equal States. 


On June 16 and 19 the committee of the whole debated the New 
Jersey Plan. Arguing in its favor, Lansing of New York and 
Paterson of New Jersey asserted that the Virginia Plan must be 
rejected because the delegates lacked authority to create a 
government not based upon the existing Confederation and 
because the States and people would never approve such a plan. 
Wilson of Pennsylvania replied that the Convention was author- 
ized to propose whatever it chose. South Carolina's Charles 
Pinckney tartly observed that if national representation were 
made equal by States New Jersey would readily assent to the 
Virginia Plan. Randolph of Virginia claimed the national crisis 
was severe enough to warrant a departure from the Confederation 

At this point, on June 18, Hamilton of New York, who attended 
irregularly, gave one of his rare speeches — a long one. "Continen- 
tal" in nature and monarchical in spirit, the supreme central 
government he proposed would make all the laws and appoint all 
State executives. The president would be responsible for executing 
laws enacted by the legislature and would enjoy veto power over 
their passage, as well as extensive appointment and treaty- 
making powers. Although the members of the lower house would 
be elected to 3-year terms by popular vote, the upper as well as the 
president would be chosen indirectly by electors and would hold 
office for life during good behavior. Not only would the power of 
the States be quashed, but also governmental control would be 
placed in the hands of the wealthy and participation of the 
populace at large minimized. The plan was clearly unacceptable to 
the majority of the delegates and they ignored it. 

Part of the reason for Hamilton's surprisingly small role in the 
debates was his extreme nationalism, which put him out of step 
with his fellows. Another factor was undoubtedly the frustrating 
effect of his minority position vis-a-vis the two other New York 
delegates, Lansing and Yates, who usually outvoted him to cast 
the State's vote. For this reason, until they departed on July 10, he 
spent some time at home in New York City attending to his law 
practice; after they left, he had little more reason to participate 
because, as the sole delegate present from his State, he could not 
cast its vote. 

The day after Hamilton presented his plan, the delegates 
finished discussion of the New Jersey Plan. Madison made an 
extended address on the weakness of the proposal and sought to 


appeal to the self-interest of the small States in forming a strong 
union. Then, by a vote of seven States (Connecticut, Georgia, 
Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, 
and Virginia) to three (Delaware, New Jersey, and New York), 
with Maryland divided, the framers accepted the Virginia Plan. It 
was clear, however, that the idea of proportional representation in 
both houses was continuing to be strongly opposed. The 
Convention adjourned the committee of the whole and went back 
into regular session to consider the resolutions that had been 
passed during the preceding weeks. 

During the period June 20-27, when the resolutions on the 
amended Virginia Plan began to be considered, the debates 
touched on a variety of subjects: the nature of representation, 
corruption of legislatures, and the purposes and functions of the 
upper and lower houses. The nationalists yielded on certain minor 
points. Several compromises were struck. Madison, Randolph, and 
others in their camp agreed to drop the word "national" from the 
committee's first and third resolutions. That word had offended 

Other changes included the approval of a 6-year term for 
members of the upper house, one-third of whom were to be elected 
every 2 years. Because this provision made no mention of the 
source of legislators' pay, it retreated from the controversial 
stipulation in the resolution that they were to be paid out of the 
national treasury. Agreement was also reached that members of 
the legislature would not be simultaneously eligible for State and 
National offices. 

BY this time, despite such temporary harmony, feeling had grown 
so intense on the issue of representation that the Convention 
seemed on the brink of dissolution. Some members began to talk 
about going home, but fortunately most were not willing to 
abandon hope of compromise. In a long and bitter speech on June 
27-28, Luther Martin, a late arrival from Maryland who 
consistently opposed majority programs, took the floor and 
denounced Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania for seek- 
ing to control the other States. He upheld the principle of one vote 
for each State. In a forceful rebuttal, Madison stated that these 
three large States had not made common cause against the others 
under the Confederation. What the small States really had to fear, 

Luther Martin, Maryland delegate, who fought for the rights of the small States, 
vociferously opposed the nationalists. Frustrated, he departed before the end of 
the Convention. 

he insisted, was a continuation of the existing system, where they 
were really at the mercy of their large-State neighbors. 

Franklin, apparently believing that passions needed to be 
cooled, proposed that the daily sessions be opened with prayers 
offered by a local clergyman. Sherman seconded the motion, but 
Hamilton opposed it. The latter feared the presence of a minister 
might cause the public to believe the Convention was torn with 
dissension. Others argued that reason — not heavenly help — was 
what was needed. In any case, Franklin's proposal died after 
Williamson raised the embarrassing question of where the money 
would be obtained to pay the clergyman. 

AT this point, bitter debate began. It would last until mid-July. 
The subject was still representation in the national legislature. 
The result was the "Great" or "Connecticut" Compromise. The 
prolonged contention arose largely from the central position of the 
legislature in the proposed new scheme of government. Under the 
Virginia Plan, as revised, which the Convention had accepted, the 
legislature would be virtually supreme. Not only would it elect the 
executive and the judiciary and have authority to annul all State 
laws, but also its overall authority in national affairs was 
extremely broad. 


On June 29 the Convention voted six (Georgia, Massachusetts, 
North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia) to 
four (Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York), with 
Maryland divided, to base representation in the lower house upon 
some system different from that used in the Confederation; this 
was almost precisely the same vote as on the same issue in the 
committee of the whole nearly 3 weeks earlier. Succeeding days 
brought continued discussion of the question of representation — 
but in the upper house. Franklin even made a complicated 
proposal for variable voting depending on the type of legislation. 

On July 2 a deadlock occurred on a vote to allow each State an 
equal voice in the upper house. Five States (Connecticut, 
Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York) were in favor 
and five (Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South 
Carolina, and Virginia) were opposed; Georgia was divided. This 
key vote was determined partially by chance because one 
Maryland delegate was absent, which permitted Martin to cast 
the State's vote; and Baldwin changed his stand and divided 
Georgia's vote. The issue between the large and small States was 
joined. To break the impasse, a committee of one member from 
each of the 11 States present was appointed. 

The main body adjourned on July 3-4 to celebrate independence 
and to allow time for the committee to deliberate. It consisted of 
Gerry of Massachusetts, Sherman of Connecticut (sitting in for 
Ellsworth), Yates of New York, Paterson of New Jersey, Franklin 
of Pennsylvania, Bedford of Delaware, Luther Martin of Mary- 
land, Mason of Virginia, Davie of North Carolina, Rutledge of 
South Carolina, and Baldwin of Georgia. 

The membership was notably weak in nationalists of the 
Madison and Wilson stripe, both of whom opposed establishment 
of the committee, and strong in States-rights men and moderate 
nationalists. The basic idea of a compromise had been suggested 
as early as June 2 by Dickinson, and reiterated later by several 
others, notably Sherman and Ellsworth. Thus, the decision of the 
committee came as no surprise. On July 5 Gerry brought in the 
report. It based representation in the lower house on the free 
population and three-fifths of the slaves; and in the upper by 
State. In neither case was an exact total specified, nor was 
distribution made by State in the lower house. As a concession to 
the large States, it was further proposed that the lower house 


should possess exclusive power to initiate money bills without 
changes or amendments by the upper house. In the lower, every 
40,000 inhabitants were to be represented by one member; States 
having less population were each guaranteed one. 

This compromise solution still did not please most of the 
delegates, many of whom remained angry over the bitter debates 
that had preceded appointment of the committee. Its recommenda- 
tions, however, provided a basis for action and steered the 
Convention away from complete deadlock. On July 6 the portion 

On Wednefday fafl Scortftayah, a warrior of the 
Ch-. rekee nation, fmi with a Hrer to C^nerel? by 
the king of (bar nation, conduced by Mr. P«orn- 
gcyole, was introduced fo his Excel, Alex Martin, 
hue povrrnor of North-Carolina, znd a number of 
thf* gentlemen member*; of the Convention ; was 
♦ro'n thence conducted to the S:-\»e*Houfe, where 
h£ hid the honour of taking hi* Excellency Gene- 
ral Wafliington by the hand* The General faid lie 
Was glad to fee him, and hoped he. left the Kine ar«d 
all his peop'e well when lie came from home* which 
he anfwrred and *aid he did. He alio afked him 
his liufniriV to Conprefe, which he told the Genra 
ii was chiefly refpe&ifrg the white people incroschr 
iiig on their lands. . The General took him by the 
hand* ar>(! bid him frrewel! ; wifhed him great fuc- 
cefs in his bufinefs, and hJe return to the narion, 
and that he might find' all his people weU when he 
returned- Since he arrived in this city, there has 
been every mark of friendfhip fhewn to him* and 
he has frequently had the honor to dine with feve- 
ral of the Members of Congrefs and Convention. 

Apart from their official duties, George Washington and the other delegates 
became involved in semiofficial activities. One of these was meeting with 
Sconstayah, a Cherokee emissary, who expressed his nation's concern over the 
encroachment of whites on its lands. 


of the committee report giving special powers to the lower house 
was approved. 

That same day, another committee, dominated by large-State 
nationalists and made up of Gorham and King of Massachusetts, 
Randolph of Virginia, Rutledge of South Carolina, and Gouver- 
neur Morris of Pennsylvania, was created to iron out the 
numerical formula for State representation in the proposed lower 
house. The next day, the Convention approved equality of votes in 
the upper. Two days later, on July 9, Morris presented the 
committee's report. It recommended that the first assembly of the 
lower house consist of 56 seats. These had been hastily and 
subjectively broken down among the 13 States (ranging from one 
to nine each), mainly on the basis of population but also to some 
degree on wealth. Subsequently, the national legislature was to 
vary apportionment of the seats based upon future alterations in 
the same elements. 

Yet an additional committee immediately came into being to 
prepare a more satisfactory distribution of seats in the lower 
house. The members were King, Sherman, Yates, Brearly, 
Gouverneur Morris, Read, Carroll, Madison, Williamson, Rut- 
ledge, and Houstoun. The next day, King delivered the report, 
which raised the number of seats to 65, an increase of one for most 
of the States. This undoubtedly was attractive to the small ones. 
Efforts by Madison to double the number and by Charles 
Cotesworth Pinckney to increase by one the seats for North 
Carolina, South Carolina," and Georgia were both defeated. 
Finally, the second committee's formula was approved. 

The following day, July 11, was one of the most contentious of 
the summer. Debate focused on the role of slaves in the scheme of 
representation and the need for and mechanisms of a national 
census; the latter subject had first arisen the day before. Slavery 
was the second major controversial issue to arise during the 
representation conflict and to be compromised. Unlike the large- 
small State clash, which was to have but slight later impact, this 
one, which revealed not only the different economic interests of 
the North and South but also presented a moral dilemma, was to 
lead to disunion and civil war. 

The crux of the problem was that most northern sentiment 
favored the counting of slaves in deciding each State's share of 
direct federal taxes, but not for representation. The bulk of the 


Two strong nationalist delegates who did not sign the Constitution, Oliver 
Ellsworth (lett) and Caleb Strong (right), left before the Convention ended, for 
unknown reasons and family illness, respectively. 

Southern-State emissaries wanted to exclude slaves from that 
computation, but desired to include them for the purpose of 
representation in the lower house, though they had no intention of 
permitting them to vote. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Butler 
of South Carolina proposed that slaves be counted equally with 
freemen, but the motion failed by a vote of seven States to three 
(Delaware, Georgia, and South Carolina). 

New York was not registered on this or any subsequent tallies 
during the Convention because the majority of its delegates, Yates 
and Lansing, had headed home after the previous day's session. 
Followers of States-rights advocate Gov. George Clinton and at 
odds with their colleague, Hamilton, by this time they were 
probably sure that ultimately the Convention would advocate a 
highly centralized type of government. They also had pressing 
legal and judicial business in New York. Apparently at the end of 
August they decided not to return to Philadelphia. After they left, 
Hamilton's status was reduced to an unofficial one, and only 10 
States voted until July 23, when New Hampshire's representatives 
finally arrived. 

Later on July 11, six States to four voted in favor of taking a 


census of free inhabitants to determine representation. By the 
same numerical margin, a proposal was rejected to count three- 
fifths of the slaves, a formula that the Continental Congress had 
frequently utilized in making requisitions on the States and that 
had been discussed earlier in the Convention. At the close of the 
session, the resolution on the census was annulled and the 
decision was made to adjourn. There was hope of progress on the 

That session began with a resolution by Gouverneur Morris to 
correlate representation, based on wealth and population, with 
taxation. After discussion and amendment to "direct" taxation, 
the measure passed unanimously. A separate motion, as amended, 
provided that a census was to be taken within 6 years of the 
adoption of the new government and thereafter once every decade 
(decennially) to determine the respective wealth and population of 
the States. As for the matter of slaves, representation and 
taxation were both to be computed by counting five of them as 
equal to three free inhabitants. A concession by the Northern 
States, this assured southerners that all slaves would not be taxed 
as such and that their region would also gain some representa- 
tional advantage. Some southern delegates once more tried to 
amend the motion to count slaves equally with free inhabitants, 
but the motion met defeat by a vote of eight States to two. A 
divisive issue had been bridged and the way to the Great 
Compromise lay open. 

The most significant action on Friday, July 13, was a vote to 
eliminate wealth as a basis for representation in the lower house 
of the national legislature. Wilson and Randolph brought nine 
States with them in this tally, despite the vigorous protests of 
Gouverneur Morris. Population was thus established as the sole 
criterion for the apportionment of representation. When new 
States were admitted, representation of the old would be adjusted 
at the time of the succeeding census. 

The next day, Saturday July 14, the large-State nationalists 
again tried to improve their position. Charles Pinckney proposed a 
specific apportionment scheme for the upper house, based 
generally upon population. Despite the support of Wilson and 
Madison, the resolution fell six States to four. The compromise 
was holding. 

On Monday, the 16th, the body reconvened to consider the Great 
Compromise as a whole in its final form. The vote was close: five 


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States (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and North 
Carolina) in favor, four (Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, 
and Virginia) opposed, and Massachusetts split. 

That night, July 16 — not convinced by the slim 5-4-1 vote of the 
need or the desirability of surrender — representatives of the large 
States met informally at the Indian Queen Tavern to consider the 
situation. The next morning, before the Convention proceedings 
resumed, they caucused formally. Had the large States surren- 
dered too much to the small? Should they continue to attend the 
Convention? Should they continue to oppose the Great Compro- 
mise? After much discussion, they could not agree. This irresolu- 
tion did not satisfy the diehards among them, but it cleared the 
way for continuation of the business of writing the new 
constitution because the large-State delegates no longer presented 
a united front. 

The most controversial issue was now essentially resolved, but 
much remained to be done. Many details were still vague and 
undefined. A document incorporating the decisions of the 
Convention to that point still needed to be written. But the 
principal obstacle sharply dividing men who agreed that the 
Articles of Confederation needed a complete overhaul had been 
overcome. In the lower house of the proposed national legislature, 
representation would be adjusted in relation to population, as 
revealed by a decennial census, and three-fifths of the slaves 
would be counted. In the upper house, each State would enjoy 
equal representation. 

The Great Compromise, by correlating representation with 
population in the lower house and providing for equality by State 
in the upper, confirmed the existence of the States and gave 
Congress both federal and national attributes. The fears of many 
small-State delegates that the large States would control the 
Union, if not put totally to rest, were measurably assuaged. On 
the whole, the compromise was a victory for the small States, 
though on other matters their delegates tended to follow the 
Virginia Plan, which provided for a strong central government. 
Although Madison and other large-State delegates had opposed 
the compromise right up to the last, they recognized it was the 
price they had to pay for a consolidated Union. The small States, 
by yielding on equal representation in the lower house, had 
abandoned their hopes for a mere league of States like that 


provided for by the Articles of Confederation. The large States, by 
accepting equality of voting power in the Senate, signaled the end 
of their attempts to dominate the government. 

On the other hand, from this point on the small States, 
recognizing they would have a greater share of power in the 
central government than their population or wealth warranted, 
were no less desirous of strengthening the central government 
than the large ones. 

WITH the most severe crisis of the Convention behind them, 
during the period from July 17 to July 26 the delegates discussed 
and more easily settled a number of specifics of the proposed 
constitution. It was agreed that the national legislature would 
"enjoy the Legislative rights vested in Congress by the Confedera- 
tion, and moreover to legislate in all cases for the general interests 
of the Union, and also in those to which the States are separately 

The Indian Queen Tavern as it appeared about 1833. 


incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may 
be interrupted by the exercise of individual legislation." But the 
proposed capability of the national legislature to negate State 
laws was dropped. In the upper house, each State was to have two 
representatives, who would vote as individuals rather than as a 
unit. The national court system was granted jurisdiction over 
cases stemming from laws passed by the legislature and over 
questions related to national peace and harmony. 

Many other issues reached the floor, but did not result in 
changes to the emerging constitution. These included efforts to 
empower State legislatures to ratify the instrument, to remove the 
provision for impeachment of the executive, and to strike 
appointment by the upper house of judges of the ''supreme 

The matters that proved the most difficult to resolve, even 
tentatively, in this comparatively harmonious phase of the 
Convention were those dealing with election of the executive, the 
length of his term, and his eligibility for reelection. Proposals were 
entertained and then voted down for election by the people at 
large, electors chosen by the legislatures, the Governors or electors 
picked by them, the national legislature, and electors chosen by 
lot from the legislature. Some delegates suggested that the 
executive should be eligible for reelection. Others questioned the 
proposed 7-year term of office. After extensive debate, on July 26 
the decision was made to retain the original resolution. The 
national legislature was to elect the executive for a single 7-year 
nonrenewable term. 

ON July 26 the Convention adjourned until August 6 to allow a 
five-member "committee of detail," which had been appointed on 
July 24, to prepare a draft instrument incorporating the sense of 
what had been decided upon over many weeks. While some of the 
delegates went home and others rested and relaxed in or near 
Philadelphia, the committee (Rutledge of South Carolina, Ran- 
dolph of Virginia, Wilson of Pennsylvania, Ellsworth of Connecti- 
cut, and Gorham of Massachusetts) went about its work. Within a 
few days, a draft of the constitution was sent to Dunlap & 
Claypoole, the firm on Market Street that handled printing for the 
Continental Congress, which was meeting in New York City. The 
compositor for most of the Convention's work was likely David C. 


Claypoole because his partner, John Dunlap, was apparently 
away most of the time coordinating congressional printing. 

About August 1 a seven-page set of proofs was returned to the 
committee. After its deliberations, a corrected copy bearing 
Randolph's emendations, a dozen in number, was sent back to the 
printer, who incorporated them. By August 6 a first draft of the 
constitution had been printed, numbering probably 60 copies; it 
was the first printed rendition of the instrument in any form. The 
seven-page folio draft, which provided ample left-hand margins 
for notes and comments, consisted of a preamble and 23 articles. 
Randolph had apparently prepared a rough draft, which Rutledge 
and Wilson thoroughly reworked. 

The committee conscientiously tried to express the will of the 
Convention, but also made some modifications and changes that 
provoked considerable debate. In selecting provisions and 
phrases, the conferees borrowed extensively from a variety of 
sources. Of course, the approved resolutions that had sprung from 
the Virginia Plan provided the basic ideas. But State constitu- 
tions, particularly that of New York (1777), and the Articles of 
Confederation were leaned on heavily, as was also to a lesser 
degree Charles Pinckney's long-ignored plan. Certain state papers 
of the Confederation and the rejected New Jersey Plan also 
provided some of the wording and substance. 

The committee necessarily filled in many specifics that various 
resolutions had left vague or unexpressed. For the first time, 
names, largely derived from the State constitutions, were given to 
the members and branches of the National Government: Presi- 
dent, Congress, House of Representatives, Speaker, Senate, and 
Supreme Court. The famous opening phrase of the final Constitu- 
tion's preamble, "We the People," appeared for the first time, as 
did such others as the "privileges and immunities" of citizens and 
the Presidential "state of the Union" message. 

Instead of the broad general authority voted to the courts and 
Congress before the recess, significantly the draft enumerated 18 
congressional powers and also areas of jurisdiction for the Federal 
courts. It likewise listed powers for the Chief Executive, though 
the Convention's resolutions had laid a precedent for that. 

The last and most sweeping of the congressional authorities 
was the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out 
the enumerated powers and all others vested in the central 


WE the People of the States 
of New-Hampfhire, MaiTachufetts, 
Rhode-Ifland and Providence Plan- 
tations, Connecticut, New-York, Ncw-Jerfey, Penn- 
fylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Caro- 
lina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare 
and eftablifli the following Conilitution for the Govern- 
ment of Ourfelvea nnd ©ox Pofterfty. 

A R PIC L E 1. 
The ftil f this Government Q12Q I , - '' . ' 

The Government /hall confift of fuprcme legiflative, executive and judicial 

/Lu^fSt' t1\L?* I ' j!i f^^iS" The le 8' fia ' ive Power 'b* 11 be verted in a Congrefs, to confift of two feparatc 

£L,^/- .-> 1 <W^". 1 w ;?...\j / Um- *;*. /%■■— am * diftinfl bodies of men, a Houfe of Reprefentatives, and. a Senate ; 

jji. A , / (?7up^Z>^- y tjC <J*m*-s*-^*y~ *imMinl \, \m nil wi fn , h i M g » M gMiw ia i k -s ti hm — I In faagiflawi fli»tt 


S«tf. 1. The Members of the Houfe of Reprefentatives be chofen eve- 
ry fecond year, by the people of the li-veral States comprehended within this 
Union. The qualifications of the electors fhall be the fame, from time to time, 
as thofeof the electors in the fcvcral States, of the moft numerous branch of 
their own legiflaturef. 

Ic'cllO .wM^ttBBC 

Sett. 3. The Houfe of Reprefentatives mail, at its firft formation, and until 
the number of citizens and inhabitants fhall be taken in the manner herein af- 
ter defcribed, confift of fixty-fivc Members, cf whom three fhall be chofen in 
New-Ilampfhire, eight in Maflachufetts, one in Rhode Ifiand and Providence 
Plantations, five in Connecticut, fix in New-York, four in New-Jerfcy, eight 
in Pennfylvania, one in Delaware, fix in Maryland, ten in Virginia, five in 
North-Carolina, five in South-Carolina, and three in Georgia. 

Sett. 4. As the proportions of numbers in the different will alter from 
time to time; as fome of the States may hereafter be divided; as others may 
be enlarged by addition of territory ; as twoor mo r e St:"-> may be united; as 
new States will be erected within the limits of the United States, the Ltgifia- 
tuxe fhall, in each of thelc cafes,, regulate thenumbe^jf reniefeiuaiives by, 
number of inhabitants^ according to the p| 
pj ,^~~^ nte of ~ r e for e v ery ^^t? thonfartd. -^/*? 

. j 1 .; 1 ■ ' i. 1 1 pri 1 ■ 

. •■' officers oJ goTerm • 1 1 -. ■ . 

. , ^rd <hail ri ■ be iltei . . ■ i.' I 

^/_- > Sl^,/^-. / drawn from the public Treafury, but in purluance ot appropriations mat man 
V. originate in the Houfe of Reprefentatives. 

Sett. 6. The Houfe of Reprefentatives fhall have the fole power of impeach- 
ment. , It fhall cboofe its Speaker and other officers. 

Sett. 7. Vacancies in the Houfe of Reprefentatives fhall be fupplicd by writs 
of election from tbe executive authority of the State, in the rcprefeutaiion from 
which they fhall happen. V. 

George Washington's annotated copy of the committee of detail draft of the 
Constitution. The first printed version, it was distributed to the delegates shortly 
after the Convention reconvened on August 6. Of the 60 copies apparently 
printed, at least 15 annotated ones have survived in various repositories. 


Government by the Constitution. Essentially all the old powers of 
the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation 
were retained. To them were added new ones, which the majority 
of delegates felt were essential to correct the defects in the old 
frame of Government. 

Among the new congressional mandates was the most vital one 
missing under the old system: authority to impose and collect 
direct taxes of several kinds. Other new powers conferred were the 
regulation of domestic and foreign commerce; establishment of 
nationwide rules for the naturalization of citizens; coining and 
borrowing of money; organization of a national army and navy; 
authority to call up the State militias; election of a national 
treasurer; and the quashing of rebellion in the States, with the 
permission of the appropriate legislatures. Directly contrary to a 
resolution of the Convention, however, the committee draft speci- 
fied that the States would pay the Congressmen. 

Particular prerogatives of the House of Representatives and the 
Senate were specified, the principles of their parliamentary 
organization were outlined, and the privileges of their Members 
were listed. Some of these provisions were modeled on similar ones 
in State constitutions. The Senate would appoint ambassadors 
and Supreme Court judges, make treaties, and participate in the 
settlement of interstate disputes. The House alone could impeach 
errant high Federal officials, including the President, and 
originate money bills. Each House would enjoy a virtual veto on 
the other, for bills would need to pass both to become law. 

In its attempt to define the areas of national authority more 
precisely, presumably to allay the fears of the less nationalistic 
delegates, the committee of detail included express restrictions on 
certain actions by the Legislature. Three of these, apparently 
reflecting the sentiments of Chairman John Rutledge of South 
Carolina, were designed to protect the interests of the Southern 
States. One prohibited the national Government from passing any 
"navigation act" or tariff without a two-thirds majority of 
Members present in both Houses of Congress. Another, without 
employing the word "slaves," forbade the Legislature from taxing 
or prohibiting the import of slaves or their migration. The third 
provided that it could pass no law taxing exports. It would also be 
unable to approve personal capitation taxes except in proportion 
to the census. The Government as a whole was barred from 


creating titles of nobility and was limited in the definition it could 
give to treason. 

The Legislature would elect the President for a single 7-year 
term. His powers were somewhat more carefully spelled out than 
previously, though not significantly augmented. The most 
important of these was the veto, though this could be overriden by 
a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress. The Chief Executive 
would exercise general executive powers for the enforcement of all 
national laws, appoint key officials except for ambassadors and 
judges, enjoy the right to pardon, and serve as commander in 
chief. His responsibilities of informing the Legislature about state 
matters, making recommendations to it, receiving ambassadors, 
and corresponding with State executives involved him directly in 
the formulation of legislative programs and foreign relations. The 
provisions relating to the Presidency were strongly influenced by 
State constitutions, especially that of New York. 

The committee of detail outlined new prohibitions upon the 
rights of the States that went far toward establishing national 
dominance. They were not to coin money or grant letters of 
marque and reprisal. Without the consent of Congress, they could 
not emit bills of credit, issue paper money, tax imports or exports, 
or make agreements with other States. Reiterated were the old 
Articles of Confederation provisions preventing any of them from 
entering into independent treaties, alliances, or confederations; 
waging war independently; or granting titles of nobility. 

Relations among the States would be governed by principles of 
equality, including recognition of the "privileges and immunities" 
of each other's citizens and "full faith and credit" for official 
actions. Arrangements were to be made for the extradition of 
criminals. These measures were virtually identical with similar 
ones in effect under the Articles, though they had not really 
ameliorated interstate conflicts. The Federal judiciary now would 
be in a position to apply these provisions under the new 

Another problem the Confederation had not resolved, the 
admission of new States, was to be handled by admitting them on 
an equal basis with the original ones, by a two-thirds vote of those 
present in each House of Congress. 

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, now also more precisely 
defined, would include cases arising under U.S. laws; those 


affecting public officials; maritime and admiralty matters; 
interstate disputes; and legal contests among citizens of more 
than one State, between States, and when other countries or aliens 
were involved. The Court would also try impeachments brought 
by the House of Representatives. 

Although instructed to report property qualifications for 
Members of Congress, the committee directed Congress to do so 
itself. A further specification was that qualifications for voting to 
elect Members of the House of Representatives were to be tied to 
State law; people who could vote for the more numerous house of 
the State legislatures were to constitute the electorate for the 
House of Representatives. In practice, the State regulations on 
this subject had varied widely and a uniform formula would have 
not only been difficult to devise, but might also have seemed to 
intrude too much on State authority. In the vexing matter of the 
number of States required to approve the Constitution before it 
became the law of the land, the committee simply left a blank. The 
Convention would have to decide. 

Demonstrating considerable skill and energy, the committee of 
detail had performed creditably, though the degree of the changes 
and innovations it had made apparently surprised the delegates. 
Its services were not completely done and it reported to the 
Convention from time to time later on, when difficult matters were 
referred for its consideration. 

The Convention reconvened on August 6. Either on that day or 
the next the delegates received individual printed copies and 
began to consider the first draft of their handiwork. 

FIVE weeks of intensive discussion were required to revise the 
draft constitution. These weeks were tedious and debilitating for 
the delegates. The weather, in a day of no air conditioning, was 
miserable. Many of those in attendance had been away from their 
families and professional duties since May. All wanted to 
finish and go home. In fact, as time passed, the pressure of 
personal business and other factors, including dissatisfaction 
with the course of the proceedings, lured a few more individuals 
away from Philadelphia, beyond those who had already departed. 
Those who stayed became increasingly anxious to finish their 
work. In mid-August lengthened sessions were briefly experiment- 
ed with, but this proved to be unsatisfactory, for they interfered 


with the dinner hour. Speeches tended to become more concise and 
the spirit of compromise intensified. And more and more the 
strong nationalists — Madison, Wilson, and Gouverneur Morris 
among the leaders — gained the dominant voice. As the draft 
constitution was studied article by article and line by line, much 
debate occurred, mostly on a high level, though some of it was 
tedious and inconsequential. The process had to be endured, 
however, and many significant changes emerged from it. 

The question of the number of Representatives proved to be a 
source of difficulty. The committee of detail had specified one in 
the lower House for each 40,000 inhabitants. Madison, objecting, 
contended that as population increased that body would grow to 
an unwieldy size. The States voted unanimously to change the 
wording of the provision to read "not exceeding the rate of one for 
every forty thousand." 

Another matter attracting much attention was the citizenship 
and minimum residency requirements for Senators and Represent- 
atives. The committee of detail had proposed 3 years of citizenship 
for Members of the House and 4 years for the Senate. Fearing new 
residents might be too much influenced by their foreign back- 
ground, the delegates increased the figures to 7 and 9 years, 

Countering its earlier instructions to the committee of detail, the 
Convention refused to prescribe property qualifications of any sort 
(either land or capital) for Federal officeholders, though most 
States specified such requirements for both voting and officehold- 
ing. Although Charles Pinckney and Gerry argued for such 
restrictions, the Convention accepted Franklin's reasoning that 
they would debase the "spirit of the common people." Pinckney, 
however, was responsible for the motion barring religious tests for 
officeholding; these were also a common feature of State laws. 

The committee of detail had revived the question of who should 
pay Congressmen. By a large majority, its suggestion that the 
States do so was revoked, and the Convention's earlier resolution 
that they be compensated from the national Treasury was 

Added to the congressional powers granted by the committee 
draft was the vesting of the Legislature with authority to declare 
war. Gouverneur Morris argued strenuously against the provision 
giving the national Government power to "borrow money and 


Four of the 55 delegates to the Convention who departed early and did not sign 
the Constitution. Upper left, James McClurg; upper right, William R. Davie; lower 
left, John F. Mercer; lower right, John Lansing. The first two men supported 
ratification, and the latter two opposed it. 

emit bills." He held that the "Monied interest" in the Nation 
would oppose the Constitution if paper money were not prohibited. 
Because the Government would enjoy the capability to borrow 
money and presumably to use public notes, the delegates heeded 
Morris' objections and struck out the phrase. A limit on 


congressional tariff powers also won approval. It specified that 
tariffs would need to be uniformly and equally applied throughout 
the country. 

The Great Compromise had included a clause stating that 
money bills should originate in the House of Representatives and 
not be subject to Senate amendment. Many delegates had 
entertained serious reservations about this provision. It had been 
borrowed from colonial and State procedures, which had not 
always worked well. The issue came up twice in early August 
during debates in which many delegates participated, but the 
Convention, after tentatively resolving it twice again, found it so 
dangerous that it threatened to overturn the entire Great 
Compromise. Final consideration of it was postponed until the 
powers of the Senate might be considered. 

Several delegates argued vociferously that the national Govern- 
ment must assume the State, as well as National, or Confedera- 
tion, war debts, on the grounds that they had all been incurred for 
the common good during the Revolution. Opponents of this 
proposal contended it would benefit speculators rather than 
legitimate debt holders. Some controversy also arose between 
some of the States that had paid off substantial parts of their war 
debts and some of those that had not. The question was hotly 
disputed because it involved Congress taking over the States' 
power to tax imports, a major source of their income. An 
assumption of State debts would lessen the reluctance of creditor 
interests in the States to support the new Constitution. The matter 
was referred to a special committee, composed of one member from 
each State. 

After that group reported a compromise, which was followed by 
another frustrating debate, the delegates approved an amended 
version which merely stated that "all debts contracted and 
engagements entered into, by or under the authority of Congress 
shall be as valid against the United States under this constitution 
as under the confederation." This ambiguous wording avoided the 
difficult question of exactly what debts were valid against the 

A recommendation to give the national Government power over 
the State militias touched on the vital matter of States rights and 
on the Continental Army's troubled dealing with the militias 
during the Revolution. The dispute was so grievous that a 


committee was instructed to bring in a solution. It was proposed 
that the national Government be empowered to pass laws 
requiring uniform militia organization from State to State and 
comparability of arms and discipline. The Government also 
gained the power to control units called into Federal service. The 
States retained the right to train their own militias and appoint 
their own officers. These recommendations were accepted without 

One of the sharpest exchanges of the Convention occurred 
toward the end of August over slavery and the committee of 
detail's plan to protect the import slave trade and prohibit Federal 
taxation of it. This was an explosive issue. Some northern 
delegates and Mason of Virginia objected to slavery and/ or the 
slave trade on moral grounds; others saw more practical 
considerations. Luther Martin pointed out that prohibition of an 
import tax on slaves meant lack of national control over the 
traffic and provided a possible incentive to the Southern States to 
augment their representation by adding to their slave populations. 
The power to tax could, on the other hand, be used to discourage 
or prevent the import of slaves, and southerners tended to oppose 
this. Mixed into this debate and into that on the regulation of 
foreign trade was the matter of divergent economic interests in the 
States. A related problem involving southern-northern conflict 
was the specification in the draft constitution that a two-thirds 
vote would be necessary to pass navigation acts. 

After many delegates had expressed their opinions, the 
unresolved matters of slave import regulation, Federal taxation of 
it, and the navigation acts were turned over to another special 
committee, consisting of one member from each State. Complicat- 
ing solution of this issue still further was the Northwest 
Ordinance, which the Continental Congress had passed the 
preceding month. By providing that States formed north of the 
Ohio would be free of slavery, the ordinance touched on an 
argument that later would be of great significance, the status of 
that institution in new Territories and States. Any compromise 
would presumably need to heed this new legislation. 

The committee presented a complicated compromise. Congress 
could not act to prohibit the import of slaves before 1800 into 
States that had existed in 1787, but might tax such importation at 
an average rate compared to that for other imports. The 


^-1 XJ >~ -^ ^~* '' y ** "' r 

r , - X.*^*> *■ «^~—'X <"<«" *'■> <*~&~ 

As the summer dragged on, many delegates questioned whether or not the 
Convention would ever reach agreement. In this extract from a letter written on 
August 23, 1787, by William Paterson from his home in New Jersey to fellow- 
delegate Oliver Ellsworth (Connecticut), the former wonders: "What are the 
Convention about 9 When will they rise? Will they agree upon a System energetick 
and effectual, or will they break up without doing any Thing to the Purpose 9 " 

committee also suggested that a simple congressional majority 
should be sufficient to pass navigation acts. 

The portion of the compromise dealing with the trade in slaves 
underwent modification. Congress was instructed not to forbid the 
traffic prior to 1808 (again for those States existing in 1787) and a 
specific limit was set on the taxes that might be imposed on it. 


Over the objections of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and 
Virginia, the part of the compromise concerning slavery was 
accepted. Both sides probably privately considered the result a 
victory. Antislavery delegates felt they had succeeded in writing 
into the Constitution a provision that could ultimately end the 
importation of slaves. Proslavery delegates hoped that agitation 
against the slave trade might disappear after a moratorium of two 

Simply to have made it possible to act against the slave trade at 
that future time was as substantial a victory as the antislavery 
men at Philadelphia could win in view of existing political 
realities. The Southern States would have rejected any major 
restrictions on slavery, and the Northern would compromise no 
further, though they soon accepted without protest a provision for 
the return of fugitive slaves. The stipulation that abolition of the 
slave trade could be considered after 1808 at least demonstrated 
that the founders were not all immutably subscribing to the 
system and that future action against it was not precluded. 

Indicative of the gingerly manner in which the topic was treated 
in the Convention, the words "slave" and "slavery" do not even 
appear in the final Constitution, where slaves are referred to by 
such euphemisms as "other persons." As a matter of fact, the 
subject is touched on in only a few places. Articles I and II prevent 
Congress from outlawing the import trade in slaves until 1808. 
And existence of the institution is acknowledged in the "three- 
fifths" clause dealing with representation (Article I), as well as in 
the stipulation for the extradition of an escaped "Person held to 
Service or Labour" (Article IV). 

Had the delegates not handled the issue so carefully and 
obtained the support of all sections, the Convention would 
probably have dissolved over it. On the other hand, the 
compromise brought the moral price of the Constitution to a high 

The second part of the compromise dropped the two-thirds 
requirement for adoption of navigation acts by Congress. In some 
ways, acceptance of this provision represented a greater potential 
sacrifice for the South than most other compromises of the 
summer. As a region producing an abundance of staple crops that 
needed to export surpluses, it was fearful of granting the general 
Government power to tax imports and exports. Randolph and 


Mason of Virginia were worried, prophetically as it turned out, 
that if northern commercial and manufacturing centers gained in 
population and power they would enact taxes and other measures 
destructive of the southern economy. 
A number of southern delegates, however, failed to heed their 

After considerable debate and acrimony, the Convention delegates compromised 
on the issue of slavery. Continuation of this moral evil was to lead to national 
schism and the Civil War. 


two colleagues and voted for the compromise. The Southern States 
were probably conciliatory on this issue because they had earlier 
won exemption of exports from Federal taxation. Many southern- 
ers also believed that the future would bring rapid expansion to 
the agricultural sections of the country and that the South and 
West, as economic allies, would be able to prevent the commercial 
States of the Northeast from dominating the Government. The 
future would prove them wrong. The Northern States were content 
with this part of the complex compromise because it would allow 
them to pass commerce legislation more easily than they had 

New prohibitions on congressional action suggested and 
approved by the full Convention while reviewing the draft of the 
committee of detail included ones against bills of attainder, ex 
post facto laws, and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in 
peacetime. Troubles in trying to agree on the powers of the Senate 
caused postponement of action on this matter. The delegates did 
strike out its role in the settlement of interstate disputes, and 
passed this to the Supreme Court. The authorities of the House of 
Representatives gave rise to little controversy during this period 
of the debates. 

The veto power of the President was also enhanced. Williamson 
moved, and the delegates endorsed, a three-fourths vote of each 
House to override the veto of the Executive. This move was 
undoubtedly motivated by a desire to increase his independence 
from the Legislature, which was at this point still slated to elect 

Late in August the Convention once again debated election of 
the President. Misunderstanding arose over the method of casting 
the legislative ballot. The delegates proceeded to approve a joint 
vote by the two Houses, rather than separate ballots by each of 
them. The small States protested because they felt this decision 
would virtually give the power of election to the large States, 
whose contingents in the lower House were strong. 

Unable to resolve this problem readily, the Convention returned 
to discussion of the President's powers, largely going along with 
the original committee of detail's proposals. Adopted from a 
supplementary committee report, on August 22, were provisions 
that the President should be 35 years of age and a resident for 21 
years. A suggestion in this same report that the President enjoy 


the advice of a privy council of Cabinet members and top 
legislators died without formal consideration. 

Occasioning only brief discussion was jurisdiction of the 
Federal courts. It was extended far beyond what had been granted 
by the committee of detail, which had given them power only over 
cases arising under Federal legislative acts. This was now 
amended to include all cases arising under the Constitution, 
which was to be the "supreme law." 

Curiously, the right of the Supreme Court to pass finally on the 
constitutionality of laws, treaties, and Executive actions was not 
explicitly stated, though many of the delegates apparently 
understood that it would exercise such authority. On one matter 
previously assigned to it, the trying of impeachments, the 
committee postponed a decision. 

Anxious to assert exclusive national authority over what they 
deemed to be vital matters, the delegates not only approved 
committee limitations on the States, but also imposed certain 
additional ones, especially a prohibition on the issuance of paper 

The admission of new States was also a provocative issue. The 
committee of detail had proposed that they be admitted as equals 
with the older ones by a two-thirds vote in each House. 
Gouverneur Morris, who had previously argued that the prepon- 
derance of power must remain with the original seaboard States, 
renewed his objections. Despite cogent rebuttals from Madison, 
Mason, and Sherman, he persuaded the Convention to alter the 
committee's proposal. The statement "New States may be 
admitted by the Legislature into the Union" was then unanimous- 
ly substituted. Morris long remained convinced that it really 
meant the Eastern States would govern much of the West. So 
noncommittal was the language, however, that future Congresses 
were to interpret it to mean that a virtually unlimited number of 
new States could be brought into the Union as equals of the 
original ones. 

Provisions relating to interstate relations, which the committee 
of detail had largely adapted from the Articles of Confederation, 
met approval with minor changes. Included were the extradition 
of criminals and the return of fugitive slaves, as well as State 
recognition of each other's legislative and judicial actions and the 
"privileges and immunities" of citizens. Also adopted was the 


committee of detail proposal that when two-thirds of the State 
legislatures applied to Congress for an amendment to the 
Constitution a convention would be called to consider it. 

As for the number of States required to ratify the completed 
Constitution, the committee of detail had left the number blank. 
Ideas on this issue ranged from proposals that all 13 must express 
their approval, as the Articles of Confederation required, to 
suggestions from Madison, Wilson, and Washington that a bare 
majority, seven, would be sufficient. Nine was finally chosen as 
the proper number. This action demonstrated a crucial break with 
the Articles of Confederation. The delicate matter of the role of the 
Continental Congress in the ratifying process also caused debate. 
The delegates boldly resolved to submit the Constitution to it with 
the recommendation that the instrument simply be forwarded to 
conventions in the States. 

BY August 31 the delegates had considered practically all the 
recommendations of the committee of detail word by word. They 
were fatigued, restless, and wanted to go home, but a number of 
loose ends remained. The most important of these " postponed 
matters" were the method of election of the President, the locus of 
appointive powers and treatymaking, the organ of Government 
that would try impeachments, and the method of originating 
money bills. 

Because the procedure seemed to have worked so well before, the 
Convention appointed a committee, on postponed matters. 
Representing each of the 11 States officially in attendance, it was 
chaired by Brearly of New Jersey and included Sherman of 
Connecticut, Dickinson of Delaware, Baldwin of Georgia, Carroll 
of Maryland, King of Massachusetts, Gilman of New Hampshire, 
Williamson of North Carolina, Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylva- 
nia, Butler of South Carolina, and Madison of Virginia. 

The committee, which reported on several days in early 
September, modified the draft constitution extensively, largely to 
the satisfaction of the Convention. Details of the qualifications of 
the President were changed somewhat. His term was reduced from 
7 years to 4, and no limit was set on reeligibility. The minimum 
residence requirement was reduced from 21 to 14 years, but the 
President was required to be either native born or a U.S. citizen at 
the time of the adoption of the Constitution. His powers were 


augmented considerably. He gained authority to make treaties, 
which would need to be approved by two-thirds of the Senators; 
and to appoint ambassadors, judges, and other officials, including 
members of the Supreme Court. Appointees would be subject to the 
endorsement of a Senate majority. 

The committee also proposed that power to try impeachments of 
high officials be transferred from the Supreme Court to the Senate 
and that conviction require a two-thirds majority. 

The most difficult ''postponed matter" was election of the 
President. From the beginning of the Convention there had been 
little dispute about his importance, but agreement could never be 
reached on how he would be elected. So long as a consensus 
prevailed that he be chosen by the Legislature, most delegates felt 
he should serve a rather long term and be ineligible for reelection 
to prevent undue legislative influence on him. Madison, Wilson, 
and some other leaders favored, at least in theory, direct or 
indirect election by the people. But a direct popular vote seemed 
impractical. There was no uniform national franchise, and the 
Convention had not even attempted to create one. Many of the 
delegates and other national leaders shared a conviction that the 
people at large were incapable of making a wise selection. In 
addition, no system existed to limit candidates to a reasonable 
number. Finally, some accommodation to the Federal character of 
the Union was imperative. 

The committee on postponed matters offered an ingenious and 
complex method of election that met widespread approval. 
Electors would be selected in each State, according to a method 
chosen by the legislature. The number of electors would equal the 
State's total of Senators and Representatives. The electors would 
ballot for two persons, at least one of whom could not be a resident 
of their State. The votes would be dispatched to the Senate. The 
person holding a majority of the votes would become President. 
But what if no candidate received a majority? The Senate would 
then choose the President from the five candidates who had won 
the most votes. 

The person holding the second highest number of electoral votes 
would become Vice President; in case of a tie, the Senate would 
make a choice. This was a new office that many delegates only 
grudgingly accepted. Its occupant would preside over the Senate; 
cast the deciding vote there in case of ties; and occupy the 


Presidency in the event the incumbent died, resigned, or was 
otherwise unable to fill the office. 

The committee on postponed matters carefully avoided an 
electoral scheme that would grant absolute power to the people at 
large to elect the President. Few delegates would allow that, and 
those who supported the idea knew that most of the States would 
not. On the other hand, the committee left the way open to the 
evolution of a form of popular election by allowing the States to 
determine the method of choosing electors. The small and large 
States were both pleased with the formula of adding each State's 
Representatives and Senators to arrive at its electoral vote. 

Objections led to some modification of the committee's propos- 
als. Many of the founders feared for the future. They were 
reasonably certain Washington would be the first President, but 
they foresaw that it might be difficult to agree upon his successor 
and the Senate might thus need to make the choice. This would 
allow it to exercise undue, perhaps even oligarchic, influence. The 
committee, trying to anticipate this fear, had already stripped the 
Senate of much of its treatymaking and appointive powers by 
shifting basic authority in these areas to the President. 

Now, after a vigorous debate, the Senate lost its prerogative of 
choosing the President in cases where no candidate had a 
majority. The Convention was in a quandary again because the 
small States bitterly opposed election by the House. At Sherman's 
suggestion, a fresh crisis was avoided by obtaining agreement 
that the House of Representatives would indeed choose the 
President in the event none of the five leading candidates had won 
a majority. Each State, however, would have only one vote 
regardless of its number of Representatives. 

The trying issue of the authority and election of the President 
was at last resolved. The committee on postponed matters had 
given him larger powers and reduced his dependence on the 
Legislature. Although rumors outside the statehouse reported the 
Convention was considering the establishment of a monarchy, no 
such thing was in the minds of the majority. Instead, it was 
determined to balance the three branches of Government so that 
no one would dominate the others. A strong, independent 
Executive was sought, not a too-powerful Senate. The intent was 
to achieve a balance between the Executive and Legislature. 

One last compromise remained. The matter of originating 


money bills had been debated and tentatively resolved several 
times. The large States, which would enjoy stronger representa- 
tion in the lower House, were determined that money bills be 
initiated there without amendment by the upper. The small States 
hoped that the Senate, where they would be more powerful, would 
play a role. It was finally agreed that such bills would originate in 
the House of Representatives, but would be subject to senatorial 

BY the close of business on September 8, review of the work of the 
committee on postponed matters had been essentially finished. It 
remained to put the emerging constitution into its final form, 
approve, and sign it. To this end, another committee, of style, or 
revision, to put the finishing touches on the work of the 
Convention, was selected. It consisted of five talented and 
distinguished members: Chairman William Samuel Johnson, 
Gouverneur Morris, Madison, King, and Hamilton. These men 
worked from September 8 to 12. Little is known about their 
procedures or day-to-day workings. The preponderance of evi- 
dence, however, suggests that Gouverneur Morris was the actual 
"penman," or drafter, of the Constitution. 

Meantime, the rest of the delegates had made a few last-minute 
adjustments in their handiwork. Amendments could be initiated 
by two-thirds of the Congress or by a constitutional convention if 
two-thirds of the State legislatures so requested. Proposed 
amendments would have to be approved by three-fourths of the 
States, acting through their legislatures or conventions. Some 
delegates were concerned that the amending process might undo 
the work of the Convention, but the only specific limitation put on 
the process at this time was a provision to prevent interference 
with the slavery compromise so painfully agreed to earlier. 
Sherman later won a proviso to protect equality of State suffrage 
in the Senate. Randolph sought in vain to authorize a second 
convention before the new Government went into effect to 
consider amendments the States might offer during the ratifica- 
tion process. 

The Convention adjourned on September 10 to await the report 
of the committee of style, and met again the next day, but the 
report was not ready so another adjournment occurred. The 
following day, the delegates reassembled, and the committee 

. «• ■ '- 

TTTTE, the People of the United States, in order to form 

* ™ a more perfect union, to cflabliih juftice, infure domeftie tranquility, provide 
for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and feci. re i 1 e bh Efing ! 
of liberty to ourfelvcs and our pofterity, do ordain and cftablifli this Conflitution for the 
United States of America. 

am I 


Sccf. i. ALL legiflative powers herein gianted fhall he veile<l in a Congrefs ol th< I 1 
States, which (hall confift of a Senate and Houfe of Reprefentatives. 

Sefl. 2. The Houfe of Reprefentatives (hall be compofod of mi ml en ' I every fecond 
by the people of the feveral (talcs, and the electors in each itate fhall '. av< tl ( • ai fications i 
(ite for electors of the moll numerous branch of the (late legiilature. 

"" No perfon (hall be a reprefentative who fliall not have attained tothe age of twenty-five year 
been feven years a citizen of the United States, and who fhall not, when elected, be an inhabitant 
of that flate in which he (hall be chofen. 
t<6 Reprefentatives and direct taxes dial I be apportioned among the feveral dates which may be in- 
cluded within this Union, according to their rcfpecUve numbers, which fhall be determined by add- 
ing to the whole number of free perfons, including thofc bound to fervitnde for a tetm oi ) it . 
and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other perfons. The actual i numeration fhall 
be made within three years after the firft meeting of the Congrefs of the United States, and within 
every fubfequent term of ten years, in fuch manner as they fhall by law direct. The number of 
reprefentatives fhall not exceed one for every forty thoufand, but each (late fhall have at lead one 
reprefentative: and until fuch enumeration ihall be made, the flate of Nevv-Uampfhire (hail be en- 
titled to chufe three, Maffachufetts eight, Rhode-Ifland and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut 
five, New- York fix, New-Jerfey four, Pennfylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland fix, Virginia 
ten, North-Carolina five, South-Carolina five, and Georgia three. 

f) When vacancies happen in the reprefentation from any flate, the Executive authority th treol 
fhall iffue •writs of election to fill fuch vacancies. 

«) The Houfe of Reprefentatives fliall choofe their Speaker and other officers; and they fhall have 
the fole power of impeachment. 

Sefl. 3. The Senate of the United States fhall be conrpofed of two fenators from each flate, cho- 
fen by the legiflature thereof, for fix years: and each fenator fhall have one vote. 
» . Immediately after they fhall be affembled in confequence of the firfl election, they fliall be .'1.1- 
decTas 'equally as may be into three claffes. The feats of the fenatorsof the firft clafs fhall be vai a- 
ted at the expiration of the fecond year, of the fecond clafs at the expiration of the fourth v 1 ar, and 
of the third clafs at the expiration of the fixth year, fo that one-third may be ch< ft n ever) fecond 
year: and if vacancies happen by refignation, or otherwife, during tilt* recefs ol the Lcj iiiaturc of 
any flate, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting < f the 

1* No perfon fhall be a fenator who fhall not have attained tothe age of thirty year-;, and been riiu- 
years a citizen of the United States, and who fhall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that Hate 
for which he fhaii be chofen. 

11 The Vice-Prefident of the United States fliall be, -ex offi eio, FtcfiJent of the fenate, but (hull 
have no vote, unlefs they be equally divided. 

hi The Senate fliall choofe their other officers, and alfo a Prefid:nt pro tempore, in the abfence of 
the Vice-Prefident, or when he lhall exercife the oflice of Prefident oi the United States. 
wThe Senate fliall have the fole power to try all impeachments. When fitting for that pui| 
they fliall be on oath. When the Prefident of the United States is tried, the Chief Juftice fhall 
prefide: And no perfon (hall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds ol the members 
pre lent. 

if Judgment in cafes of impeachment fhall not extend further than to removal (mm oflice, and dif- 
qualification to hold and enjoy any office ot honor, trull or profit under the United States: but tt.e 
party convicted fliall ncvcrthelefs be liable and fubject to indictment, trial, judgment and punifh- 
nient, according to law. 

Scft. 4. The times, places and manner of holding elections for fenators and reprefentative?, fhall 
be prefcribed in each Hate by the legiflature thereof: but the Congrefs may at any time by law make 
or alter fuch regulations. 

/»' The Congrefs fhall affemble at leafl once in every year, and fuch meeting fliall be on the firfl Mon- 
day in December, unlefs they fhall by law appoint a different day. 

Scil. 5. Each houfe (hall be the judge of the elections, return? and qualifications of its own mem- 
bers, and a majority ol each (hall conilitute a quorum to do bufinefs: but a (mailer number may 
adjourn from day today, and may he authorifed to compel the attendance of ..bant members, in 
fuch manner, and under fuch penalties as each houfe may provide. 

tl Each houfe may determine the rules of its proceeding!.: punith its members for difordeily beha- 
viour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a membi r. 

?* Each houfe (hall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time t-itime publifh the fame, ex-. 
cepting fuch parts as may in their judgment require fecrecy ; and the yeas ; t. 1 na; s of the members 
of either houfe on any queftion fhall, at the delire of one- fifth of thofe prel ..', be entered on the 

fi Neither houfe, during the fcflian of Congrefs, dial!, without the confent of the other, adjourn 
for tnoie than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houfes (hall be fitting. 

$:ct. 6. The fenators and reprefentatives (hall receive a compenfation lot their Cervices, to be 
afcertaincd by law, and paid out of the treafury of the United States. They (hall in all cafes, ex- 
cept treafon, felony and breach oi the peace, be privileged from am ft during their attendance at 
thefeffion ol their refpective houfes, and in going to and returning from the lame; and (or any 
fpeech or debate in cither houfe, they fhall not be queflioned in any other pi ice. 
<4 ' t H No fenator or reprefentative (hail, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed 10 
any ci 1 '■'■ 1 ''" : under th auth ritj ojthe I'.i'.tC'.l State;-, which lhall have been created, or the emo- 

James Madison's annotated copy of the first page of the committee of style 
printing of the Constitution. The second printed version, it was received from 
Dunlap & Claypoole on September 13. At least 13 annotated originals 
have survived. 


submitted its draft, which was read and sent to the printer. All 
that remained was to compare the work of the committee with the 
amended draft given to it and make final corrections. 

During the printing process, the rest of the 12th was devoted to 
discussion of final modifications. By the close vote of six States to 
four, with one divided, it was decided to reduce the congressional 
margin needed to override the President's veto from three-fourths 
to two-thirds. 

The absence of a bill of rights came up once again. Mason, who 
had authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights, pleaded that 
such a bill should preface the completed Constitution. Gerry of 
Massachusetts moved that a committee be appointed to prepare 
one. But Sherman of Connecticut, objecting, contended that the 
Constitution did not repeal the State bills of rights, which he felt 
were sufficient guarantees. Mason responded that the laws of the 
United States under the Constitution were to be supreme and 
might therefore negate State enactments. Despite this argument, 
the delegates, as a whole, seemed to fear that, though only a few 
hours might be required to write such a bill, weeks of debate would 
be needed to obtain its approval. So, by a vote of 10 States to none, 
with Massachusetts absent, a bill of rights was rejected. 

This proved to be the most serious mistake made during the 
Convention. When debates over the ratification began, objections 
were raised everywhere to the absence of a bill of rights, and 
several States considered making their ratification contingent 
upon the speedy addition of one. They contented themselves with 
suggesting amendments, however, and the First Congress moved 
rapidly to remedy this defect. 

From September 13 to 15 the delegates carefully reviewed the 
finished document and made some changes, many editorial in 
nature. Some 60 copies, in four pages, had been returned by the 
printer; it was the second printed version of the Constitution. 
Ably performing its assignment, the committee of style had 
reduced 23 articles to seven and smoothed wording here and there, 
but had made only two substantive modifications. 

Fatefully, but unintentionally, the opening phrase of the 
preamble had been revamped so that it spurred the cause of 
nationalism. The committee of detail's version, approved by the 
Convention earlier, had read "We the People of the States . . ." 
and then had listed each of the 13 States. The committee of style 


Nationalists Elbridge Gerry (left) and George Mason (right) had almost perfect 
attendance records at the Convention, played influential roles in the proceedings, 
objected to the lack of a bill of rights in the Constitution, and refused to sign. 

had altered it to read as follows: "We the People of the United 
States . . . ." The phrase "... in order to form a more perfect 
Union" was also added. The States were not specified. 

The new phrase had the effect of making it seem to appear that 
sovereignty was placed in the people of the United States rather 
than in the States. But this was not the actual reason for the 
change. The earlier version had been predicated on the assump- 
tion that all the States of the Confederation would need to approve 
the new Government before it could be established and they were 
therefore named in the preamble. But, after the Convention's 
momentous decision to rely on ratification by nine States, it was 
not known if all the States would ratify. Furthermore, the 
delegates could hardly speak for the two States not present. 

The second alteration made by the committee of style was at the 
urging of King of Massachusetts. Seeking to guard property 
rights, it forbade the States from passing laws that might impair 
the obligation of contracts. 

Although the committee made only these two basic changes, the 
Convention made several dozen, most of them minor clarifications 



























' 4 
















Ac <*pi*p 
































/ /* 






sTlC-^ *?i*~&4toJ&*TL U*ta*u*P<-<?z*s? £p 


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Secretary Jackson's official record of the last day's voting. 


or changes of wording. Aside from those, the delegates shifted the 
power to appoint a national Treasurer from Congress to the 
President. They also prohibited the Chief Executive from 
receiving any emolument except his salary from the national 
Government. As with the earlier provision specifying that the 
Treasury would pay Congressmen, this one was designed to lessen 
any dependence national officials might have on the States of 
their origin. In addition, the amending process was revised to 
provide that future constitutional conventions might be held 
should two-thirds of the State legislatures so request. 

Other modifications were rejected during the last 3 days. Among 
these were Franklin's proposal that the Government should have 
the express power to build canals; Madison and Charles 
Pinckney's suggestion that it be empowered to establish a 
national university; an effort to reinsert a two-thirds vote 
requirement for the passage of navigation laws; and Madison's 
recommendation that the Government have the power to incorpo- 
rate businesses for the purpose of supporting internal improve- 
ments. An attempt to insert the principle of the freedom of the 
press was set aside as unnecessary. Randolph repeated his call for 
a second constitutional convention to consider amendments that 
might be offered by the States, but he met deaf ears. 

Late in the afternoon of Saturday, September 15, the States 
voted unanimously to accept the Constitution, directed the printer 
to make the appropriate revisions in the type that had been set on 
September 13, and ordered the engrossing of the finished product. 

Late Saturday evening or Sunday it was undoubtedly Secretary 
Jackson who obtained the engrossing services of Jacob Shallus, 
assistant clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which had 
been meeting since September 4 in the room above that used by 
the Convention. Shallus was apparently provided with a corrected 
copy of the report of the committee of style and a revised text of 
the last two articles (dealing with ratification) of the report of the 
committee of detail. These two articles appeared as the fifth, or 
last, page (''resolution of transmittal" or the "ratification notice") 
of the Constitution. Shallus worked hurriedly over the remaining 
part of the weekend, and apparently received $30 for his effort. 
Possibly some unidentified person prepared the decorative 
lettering "We the People" and the numbered "Article" heads. 


ON Monday, September 17, the Convention reconvened for the 
signing. That morning, 41 of the 55 delegates who had participat- 
ed were present. After someone, probably Secretary Jackson, read 
the document aloud, Franklin obtained permission to speak. 
Because of his infirmity, however, Wilson read his speech for him. 
It sought to conciliate the delegates and unite them all in signing 
the instrument. Franklin admitted he did not approve of several 
parts of it, but averred that in the fullness of time he might come 
to favor them. In any case, no one would be completely satisfied 
and the document was the best that could be achieved. Further- 
more, the public good required its acceptance. 

At the end of his speech, Franklin offered a motion, conceived 
by Gouverneur Morris, that was intended to cajole some 

"The Adoption of the Constitution" by J. B. Stearns, one of several artistic 
versions of the historic event. 


dissenting members to sign — on behalf of their States, not as 
individuals. For this purpose, the resolution suggested the 
following wording for the closing block of the Constitution: "Done 
in Convention by the unanimous consent of the States present the 
seventeenth day of September . . . ." Before the vote could be 
taken, Gorham moved that the stipulation providing for represen- 
tation in the House not to exceed one Representative for each 
40,000 inhabitants be changed to one for each 30,000. King and 
Carroll offered seconds. Washington rose to give his only speech 
of the Convention, in favor of Gorham's proposal, which passed 

Attention was again turned to Franklin's resolution. But, prior 
to the vote, one final bit of debate occurred. Randolph and Gerry 
reiterated their objections to the Constitution and explained they 
would refuse to sign it, as they and Mason had done in the 
previous session. Blount said he, too, opposed much of the 
document, but would underwrite it to demonstrate the unanimity 
of the States. After various other delegates gave their opinion on 
the subject, Franklin's motion passed by a vote of 10 States to 
none, with South Carolina divided. King moved to destroy the 
Convention's papers or to deposit them with its president; the 
Convention voted to turn them over to Washington for safekeep- 
ing until Congress ordered their disposition. 

About this time, Shallus, who likely was waiting outside the 
room, engrossed the closing block, probably before the signing 
though it is possible he did so afterward. To the left of the block, 
he also inscribed an errata statement, which included reference to 
the change from 40,000 to 30,000 inhabitants and three minor 
changes or interlineations. One of the latter (an interlineated 
"the") referred to the wrong lines; and another interlineated 
"the," between lines 51 and 52 of the second page, was not 
incorporated in the errata statement. 

Sometime during the afternoon the signing began. All present 
except Randolph, Mason, and Gerry, or a total of 38 men, affixed 
their signatures. Accounting for the 39th name, Read signed at 
the behest of fellow Delawarean Dickinson, who had left the 
Convention early because of illness. Washington, as the president 
of the meeting and delegate from Virginia, penned his name first, 
at the bottom of the fourth page of text. He was followed by the 
other delegates in the standard congressional voting order, by 





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George Washington's diary, September 13-18, 1787, in which he records his 
reactions during the final days of the Convention. 


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State generally from north to south: New Hampshire, Massachu- 
setts, Connecticut, Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, and Georgia. The names were arranged in two 
columns, the right-hand one being filled out first. 

The signature of Hamilton, who also wrote the State names to 
the left of the block of each delegation as it signed, was 
misleading for it tended to give the impression that 12 instead of 
11 States had approved the document. He was the only delegate 
from New York present, in an unofficial capacity, and he did not 
represent a quorum of his delegation as Convention procedures 

Near the end of the signing, Franklin observed to nearby 
colleagues that he had noticed a sun and its rays were represented 
on the back of the president's chair. Throughout the vicissitudes 
of the Convention, he said he had been unable to tell whether it 
was a rising or setting sun. But now, with the signing of the 
Constitution, he declared "I have the happiness to know that it is 
a rising and not a setting Sun." 

The signing completed, about 4 p.m. the Convention adjourned 
sine die, or indefinitely. The delegates walked over to the City 
Tavern for a final dinner and farewells. The question of public 
response to their work now became the leading issue in the 

THE Constitution — which ultimately emerged from the crucible of 
debate and conflicting interests — was a bundle of compromises 
and an imperfect instrument. Of the 39 delegates who subscribed 
to it, few expressed complete satisfaction with their work. And 
some even doubted it would endure. The public was even less 
sanguine. The advocates of the instrument labored for nearly a 
year before enough States ratified it and made it the law of the 
land. Yet, once the document went into effect, it soon became the 
pride and bulwark of the Republic. 

In most respects, the Constitution sprang from the American 
colonial, Revolutionary, and Confederation experiences. For 
example, the idea that a nation was bound by a constitution that 
limited and defined the powers of government had long been part 
of the English political consciousness. But, beginning with the 
colonial charters, Americans preferred written constitutions, 


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Constitution of the United States (fifth, and last, page, known as the "Resolution of 
Transmittal to the Continental Congress"). 


which both citizens and officials could refer to for guidance. 
Liberties were not to be trusted to the benevolence of rulers, and 
the discretion of magistrates and legislators was to be restricted to 
fixed principles. Government was regarded as a necessary evil 
that needed to be circumscribed. 

In other words, the basic institutions of constitutionalism were 
being established long before the War for Independence and the 
drafting of the first State (1775-80) constitutions, the Articles of 
Confederation (1778), and Federal (1787) Constitution. These 
institutions were reflected in the royal charters, concessions by the 
King and royal proprietors, and legislative acts initiated by the 
people's representatives. All these recognized the basic importance 
of personal liberties in written form. 

The system of checks and balances, which the framers utilized 
to prevent the dominance of any one branch of the Government 
over any other and to maintain stability between the States and 
the national Government, was traceable to the ideas of the French 
political theorist Baron Charles D. Montesquieu and to the 
English conception that a balance of power among the King, the 
aristocracy, and the House of Commons prevented the undue 
ascendancy of any one group or majority. Also affecting the 
Constitution were other aspects of English law and thought, 
especially the ideas of John Locke. Included among those was the 
belief of apostles of the Enlightenment that natural laws governed 
man as well as the universe. Various additional European 
influences and Greek and Roman political concepts also made 
their mark on the Constitution. 

Within that framework, however, the instrument was the 
product of a body of men who were experienced in self-government 
and were practical politicians. Confronting a definite and unique 
situation, for the most part they shunned abstract political 
speculation, though they drew on the lessons of history and 
political theory. Principle, expedience, and compromise all played 
roles, and their interplay was incredibly complex. A new frame of 
government was created that in its totality embodied much that 
was unprecedented and that has served as a model for constitu- 
tions since established by various other countries. 

Considering all the difficulties they encountered in fashioning 
the Constitution, its makers could not conceivably have covered 
all basic topics nor treated those they did without ambiguity. In 


Many of the ideas expressed in the Constitution are traceable to European 
thinkers. Two of those who exerted the greatest influence were John Locke (left) 
and Baron Charles D. Montesquieu (right). 

many cases, the ambiguity was deliberate to prevent further 
disagreement in the Convention. 

Above all, the framers could not be expected to be visionary 
enough to foresee and address all major matters that might be of 
future concern to the United States, especially subsequent 
political, economic, and social complexities. Many questions were 
left to be arbitrated and answered over the course of time. For 
example, the founders did not furnish mechanisms for the 
acquisition of new territory, establish specific terms for the 
admission of new States, specify the number of judges who would 
sit on the Supreme Court, or indicate what major departments 
should be created. While the framers extended the powers of 
Congress by specific grants to the maximum degree they felt was 
safe, by means of the "general welfare" and "elastic" ("necessary 
and proper") clauses they made possible augmentation of the 
enumerated powers of Congress. The broad definition of Presiden- 
tial responsibilities has also allowed a similar amplification. To 
provide for reform, omissions, unforeseen factors, and changes, the 
Founding Fathers offered a system of amendments. 

Other revisions or additions have been made by legislation or 


custom — in the "Unwritten Constitution." This includes such 
elements as the power of the Supreme Court to decide on the 
constitutionality of Federal and State laws, a practice implied in 
the Constitution but originated by Chief Justice John Marshall; 
and the establishment of the Presidential Cabinet, a group of 
advisers made up of the heads of executive departments. The 22d 
amendment, which prohibits the President from serving more 
than two terms, is an example of a custom once part of the 
Unwritten Constitution that has been incorporated into the 

This elasticity, or capacity for expansion, while making it 
certain that interpretation of the Constitution would generate 
disputation over the years, has at the same time allowed it to 
adjust to changing circumstances and endure throughout the 

During that time, the instrument, one of the oldest written 
charters of government, has won the laudation of the world. 
British Prime Minister William Gladstone effusively called it the 
"most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain 
and purpose of man." William Pitt, the younger, who had occupied 
the same office, said the document would be the "pattern for all 
future constitutions and the admiration of all future ages." But 
signer Robert Morris provided a more realistic appraisal: "While 
some have boasted [the Constitution] as a work from Heaven, 
others have given it a less righteous origin. I have many reasons 
to believe that it is the work of plain, honest men, and such, I 
think, it will appear." 

WORKING late on the night of September 17 and possibly into 
the morning hours to make the final revisions in the type he had 
been holding since September 13, the printer had available for 
Secretary Jackson on the morning of the 18th a large quantity, 
apparently 500, of official six-page copies of the Constitution. For 
about a day, this version, which contained one error (1708 instead 
of 1808 in. Article V), was the only printed one. 

Secretary Jackson departed on the morning of the 18th for New 
York, where he arrived the next afternoon. The following day, he 
transmitted to Secretary Charles Thomson of the Continental 
Congress the engrossed copy of the Constitution; the accompany- 
ing documents, including George Washington's letter of transmit- 

We have the heart-felt pleafure 
to inform our fellow citizens that 
the Fcederal Convention adjourn- 
ed yefterday, having completed 
the obje£fc of their deliberations — 
And we hear that Major \V. Jack- 
fon, the fecretary of that honora- 
ble bodv, leaves this city for New- 
York, this morning, in order to 
lay the great remit of their proceed- 
ings before the United States in 

A ■,■-.'.' .">;t lent, exprefTes his concern, that any 
proportion (hould hate l>ttn made in the general al- 
1. . h :<ir opening an. I prolonging tlie time for orfi- 
eets and foldiers to draw their donation lands, beyond 
V.e time allowed by law; he feats it will make many 
t'..i- . theii applieal ion, on account of the advance they 
ii uil make for the I irveying fee* — and at laft be ihut 
out; f«i .r. :...!. >ly the meafure will never be adopted 
1., the leg flat use, at the dmc principle would unquef- 
t'onably go to open again the dooi to the accounts lor 
depreciation, and other numcious claims upon the 
public, which are barred a. ,d excluded by this fiate v 

a : 

V, A i 



-.iz rinto Print of His Excellency GENERAL 
INC TON, done by Charles Wii.s>on Plale 
ailtlj iia, f itri a portrait which he has painted 
it ting ol the Convention, is now corapleated : 
ii,-. is elleemed the belt that has been execute I 

int This is one of an intended lerics of 

to >,<. taken from F/Jr. Peale'scolhtl on id por- 
t i.'tuftrioua perfbns, diftinguimed in the late 
i .n. 11. ifeofHii Excellency Doctor i-'ianklin 
; h morable the Marquis de la Fayette, have 
tea typablifhed. 

pri I ol i l,efe prints, in a neat oval frame, (the 
. -,■,-' is two dollars each, or > nc dollar 
I ,, .. ( .. in • : an 1 a large allowance wiil be 

made to i i who pu :ha£ to fell again — Apply to 
Ci irles W. P« ■ at thecorftcf of Third and Lombard 
areets, 1'. il . ■ ; hia. 

* 8 * J'h ... uts in the fcveral flates, who are <'« 
i mi, qj v.i couraging ihc fine arts in America, arc re 
queried to publifh this as an article of intelligence; 
w; h will oblige tin numerous friends of the General. 
i he dates of II >llan I and Well Friefland have, in 
a-l net i" the baron de 1 holemcycr. miniftcr to the 
king of Prufiia, declare I, that they, as i jveicign of the 
province, always fhould aO for the t 'sod of the ■ coun. 
try, and make no alterations in any of their reloluti- 
ons, b) paying regard to the tineats or intteaties of 
am foi i •;■! i i.«i whatfoevcr. 

By private letters from Hoi and, dated July 21, 
I-?!;, v,e it inlormed, " th.'.: propositions aic prc- 
feuteri to diffis en: i..«hs and provinces to re eilabhfh 
t: e old condHtntion lb fai tt at the Sovereigns in every 
province i' all cl u ( ? officers for the fc and laud fervics 
a:n! ::c\ c to (rt an upper admiral or general over them, 
but liaic deputies wiil be appointed with the fecret or- 
ders of the fb* ereign in ;;.- fleets and in the armies— 
:,;• ihe gj 7trnment in the levrral towns to !.e chofen 
by the votes of the citizens and the Gildens, which are 
the fiw ii ; 't-s ol ' ti ad. I nen oi every denomination. At 
t' e lame time thctc [ball he- a general congrefs to recti- 
fy :he al u is crept from time to into the d ifercr.t 
j. ;•, of government, when without partialk) the ofE, 
fy ing of ancient families will be chofca, if they by their 
a . i in and good conduct, dcfeiveit; and others for 
t : ir capacities though of foreign extraction, provided 
f, i !ui. had ireii refidence in the country fhe tine 
\< ; j h the . « requires, will with equal tmpaittaiity 
h cl .ed. Thus the Sates will without mediation of 
fori ners, fett e their differences by theii fea and land 
fo . v th thcil command of money, wl.i h is viry 
pi • 1 called the nerves of a long *ar, a. id the luc- 
i ftful mi ins of inducing every German to engage with 
5 ■ .. in thefcrvjee of thofc patriots, who v.ih let them 
t \. ropl< in fi^hiing in the glorious caoft ol liberty, 
::< . -i r, ka nit rti jjthy and oiin Iters experienced n t' e 
I • >j: when hey werepaid a< i hired to Serve tyran- 
ny and oppreffion, but afterward* (hewed theii fond 
!■ •• i i lihett) '.v their defertion and flying at once 
ion FnTili Service and German fLivcry. Thus «.ll 
theicp bli - Ni ■ rland (tor ibeir profperity haSal- 
\. i ■ been enviedby i ions and kii ■■ ; ettle their i wu 
lilh the it libciiy auJ indepen lem - on 

Univerftty of Pcnnfylvania, 

Aden It SO. I7S7. 

The Medical Lectures 

will hetti'i on the lirfl Monday of November 

Robert Bafs, 

pT A S this day imported in the 

Haimony, Captain VVilict, from London, a 
faiall Cale of pure, genuine 

Red Peruvian Bark. 

He will receive by the next veflei from London, a 
full fupply of freih Drugs, Medicines, and >>hop fur., 
niiure, to complcat his aiToumcitt till next fpting. 
Sept. 18 eotf 

To be Seen near the neiv ChabeL 

A young Kitten, 

Of the biutal creation ; the head anei moulders like a 
cat, the hind parts like a rablut, and two tails. 
Children one penny, almoft grown children ; I. gen- 
tlemen and ladii-s wha' they pleafe. Sept i~> r 

For Norfolk, 


The S £ L E A N O R, 

John &urkt t Majitr ; 

days. For freight or pillage apply to 

jnard, at FifJlcr's wharf, or to 


TO fail in five 
the M;ilter on 
Sipt I* Jfp 


/;/ the Cafe of foftph Dearie ^ 

B A N K R U P T. 

WHF.R E AS a commiffi >n of bankrupt is award . 
e<\ in,l iltiied forth againfl Jtfcph Diane, ol the 
city of Philadelphia, merchant; and he bein;; declar 
cd a bankrupt, is hereby reejuired to f urrendcr him- 
f;'f to the coitimilli mers in the faid commiffi m nam» 
ed, or th;i mijor part of them, on Tticiitjy the 3:8th 
dav of September lull, on Jburfiaj the nth day of 
Or.": >V-f following, and on Moodgj the Jyth d^y of 
tlie f<me mo'itli, at rO o'clock in the forenoon ol each 
of r he laid H.ivs. at the State-Uoufc in the city of Phi- 
) . '.clpliia, and makea full dii'tovery and dilclolure of his 
iih.te and erfe.'ts ; wlien and where the creditors aie to 
come prepared to prove their debtt : at the fecon I 
meeting to chufe affiances; and at the tatt meeting the 
("aid bankrupt is required to finilb his examination. 

All perfons indebted to the laid bankrupt, or who 
have any of his efflcls, are not to pay or deliver the 
fame hut to whom the commiffioners lhall appoint, but 
j:ivc notice to the fubferlber. 

By Order of the Commiffioners. 

O ffice, in Watkins's alley. Sept 17 1787. 18 8 at 

TVIOSE gentlemen who are ap- 

pointed to receive fubfciiptions for the encou- 
ragement of American manufaiflures, are rcquefled to 
rolJ.-(f) the money lubferibed, and to pay whatfocver 
monies they may have received, into the hands of 
John Nixon, efquire, treaAirer. as foon as poffible. 
By diiiftion of the Board. 

GEO FOX, Sec'rv. 



The Ship HARMONY, 

John fPifktt, Miifter ; 
pillage apply to the Commander on 
boar I it Meafe's wharf, or to 


Irifh Linens, 

Jufl ai rived in the Harmon; and Pigou Imm I. on ion, 
and for S A I. ii by 

Rofs and Vaughan. 

Th i Oat u 1' 

lid o ... 

epi ■ t I. 

, : i \ iiing, 1 . 

.e-. a rem ral -i tenda 
.i.iiii ; i. Maoa 

■'I ' . : 1 

Prichard & Hall, 

And Lobe had at Pri bard's Book.Store and Circulat- 
ing Library, in Market (treet, 
( Meatly hand in. fettered— Ft 1 ,v<>) 


In Pennfvlvania : 

y. «'. .'i, .*'. .» ' 


'•c: v, .■: o \ ? -*hc , Sicf , 

!' e, rcfident in 

*. i.lUr, 

A Philadelphia newspaper's account of the adjournment of the Convention. 


tal; and undoubtedly the official printed copies. That same day, 
the engrossed or one of the printed copies was read to Congress, 
but it took no action and set the 26th as the day on which the 
instrument would be considered. 

Meantime, the Constitution had apparently been read to the 
public for the first time, and the Philadelphia newspapers had 
been busy. At the September 18 meeting of the Pennsylvania 
assembly, in the east room on the second floor of Independence 
Hall, Speaker Thomas Mifflin read it before the legislators and 
numerous spectators. Although no copies have survived, possibly 
the Evening Chronicle published the document on Tuesday 
evening, September 18. All other five newspapers in the city 
definitely did the next day. Only the version in Dunlap & 
Claypoole's Pennsylvania Packet contained a "pure" text, for it 
included the 1708 error. All the other four renditions corrected this 
mistake and by error or design made additional changes, 
including those in abbreviation, spelling, and punctuation. 

From these have stemmed a proliferation of printings, both in 
the United States and abroad, that have continued right up to the 
present day — in newspapers, magazines, broadsides, pamphlets, 
handbills, leaflets, almanacs, and books. 

IN Article VII and in the fifth-page "resolution of transmittal" to 
the Continental Congress, the Convention provided a procedure 
for making the Constitution the law of the land. Each State would 
call a convention, whose delegates would be elected by the voters. 
After nine of these groups ratified, the new Government could 
begin operation. 

On September 26, 1787, the Continental Congress, including 10 
or 12 men who had been in attendance at Philadelphia, began 
considering the document. A vociferous minority of Members 
raised numerous objections during 2 days of debate. They charged 
that the instrument was too sweeping and clearly exceeded the 
amendment of the Articles of Confederation that had been 
authorized; criticized omission of a bill of rights; and attacked 
various details. It was even proposed that a series of amendments 
be attached to the Constitution before it was submitted to the 
States. But on September 28 supporters and critics of adoption 
compromised on a noncommittal forwarding of the new govern- 
mental framework without change to the State legislatures, which 

The Pennfylvania Packet, and Daily A 

[Price Four-Pence.] W E D M E S D A Y, September 19, 1787. [No. .-' J 

WE, the People of the United States, in order to form 
a more perfect Union, cftablilh Juftice, infure idomeftic 
Tranquility, provide for the common Defence, pro- 
mote the General Welfare, and the Bleffings of 
Liberty to Ourfelves and our Pofterity. do ordain and eflablifh this 
Conftitution for the United States of America. 

A it T I C I. E t. 

S<\'i. i. ALL legislative powers herein granted ftrall be veiled in a Congrefs of thr- United 
States, which lhall confill ot :i Senate and Houfe ot Representatives. 

See!. 1. The Houfe ol Repreient itivej lha! be eon pi I d of members cholen everj !>•• ond vai 
by the people of thr several itatrs,.n.d the electors in each Sate l! all have the qualifications requi- 
fice lor electors oi the moll numerous branch ol the Sate leg Sain e. 

No perfon fhall be a icprefcntatnc who lhall not have attained t the igeof twrr>>v fiveyeais,and 
been liven years a citi sen ot the United States, an ! who [hall n >., when elected, be an inhabitant 
of that Kate in which hi lhat! be chofrn. 

Representatives and direct taxes thai! be apporti ned I non - the feveral Itatcs whi. h tnav be in- 
cluded within this Union,according to their refpettivemtmbers, which fltallbe determined byadd- 
ing to the whole number of free perfon.*, including thole bound to fervice lor a term oi years, 
and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other perfon*. The actual enumeration (hall 
tu- made within three years alter the firft meeting ol the Congrefs of the United State:*, and within 
cvtrv lubl'-otir-nt term of ten years, in inch manner as they (hall by law direct. The number of 
representatives lhall not exceed one lor every thirty thcufand, but each ftate fhall have at leaft one 
rcprefeni ttive ; and until Inch enumeration lhall be made, the Itate ot New-Hampfhirc (hall be en- 
titled to ehufe three, Maffachufetts eight, Rhode-Ifland and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut 
five, New-York lis:, Ncw-|erley lour, Petmlylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland fix, Virginia 
ten, North-Carolina five, South-Carolina five, and Georgia three. 

When vacancies happen in the representation Irom any (late, the Executive authority thereof 
hull iffii" writs of el diun to fill fuch vacancies. 

The Houfi oi Representatives (hall chufe their Speaker and other officers; and dial! have the 
lole power of impeachment. 

iki'l. 3. The Senate ot the United Stares lhall be compofed of two fenators from each (late, cho- 
feti bv the leojflature thereof, for li\ years; and each (enator fhall have one vote. 

Immediately after they lhall be aitcmbled in confequence of the firft eleclioti, they (hall be divi- 
ded as equally as may be into three dalles. The feats ot the fenators ol the firft class lhall be vaca- 
ted at the expiration ot the lecondyear, of the fecond clafs. at the expiration of the fourth year, and 
ol the third clafs at the expiration of the fixth year, fo that one-third may be cholen every fecund 
year; and if vacancies happen by refi^nation, or otherwile, during the recefs of the Lcciflature of 
any Hate, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the 
LegilUture, which lhall then till luch vacancies. 

No perlon lhall he a fenatorwho fhall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine 
years a citizen of the United States, and who lhall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that date 
for which he lhall be cholen. 

The Vice-Prelident of the United States fhall be Prefidcnr of the fenate, but fhall have no vote, 
unlets they be equally divided. 

The Senate (hall chute ttieir other officers, and alio a Prefident pro tempore, in the abfence ot 
the Vice-Prelident, or when he lhall exercife the office ot Prefident of the United States. 

The Senate lhall have the lole power to try all impeachments. When fitting for that purpdfe, 
they fhall be on oath or affirmation. When the Prciidcnt ot the United States is tried, the Chief 
Janice lhall prclidc: And no perlon dial! be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of 
the members preXctlt. 

judgment 'it cafes ol impeachment (lull not extend further than to removal from office, and dif- 
quahftcation to hold and enjoy any office of honor, triilt or profit under the United States ; but the 
party convicted (ball neverthcleis be liable and fubjcct to indictment, trial, judgment and pumlh- 
tnctit, according to law. 

Sfd. 4. i he runes, places and manner of holdine; elections for fenators and reprefentatives, (hall 
be preh rib" d in each Itate by the lejr illume thereof; but the Congrefs may at any time by law make 
or atf r t.uh rcg«irattoro, except a> to the places ot chufiag Senators. 

The I. ortgn fs lhall atlemhle at leaft once m every year, and fuch meeting fhall be on the firft Mon- 
day in Decent!* 1 , unlets they lhall by law appoint a different day. 

.s,< /. 5. Each houl'e fhall be the judge ot the elections, returns and qualifications of its own mem. 
tiii ., an I 1 majority ot each lhall conititute a quorum to do bufinefs; but a Itnaher number may 
a h mrn from day to day, and may be authorifed to compel the attendance of abfent members, in 
fuch maimer, and under fuch penatriesas each houle may provide. 

Each houfe may determine the rules of its proceedings, punilh its members for diforderly bch 1- 
iour, and, with the concurrence ol two-thirds, expel a member. 

Each houfe thai' keep a journal ol its proceedings, and irom time to time publifh the fame, cx- 
epting luch parrs a< may in their judgment require tccrecv, and the vens and nays of the m. mbci s 

either irmtfe on any queflion fhall, at the defire oj one -fifth of thofe pi dent, be entered tin the 

Ne thet houfe, during the fedion of Congrefs, fhall, without the cnniem of the other, .• Ij ram 

• r-i-r than three >l,t>i, nortoany other place thanthat in which the two houfes (hall be fitting. 

Si . 0. i l,e fenators and representatives fhall receive a comjTcniation lot their I rvices, to I-' 
an.i-r-a.ii- d by law, and paid out ot the treafury of the United States. They (hall in all caS , ex. 
cept .treason, felony and breach of the peace, be pmdeeed from arrett ..urin^ ihcir attcndaiu c u 
the : - i ion of their refpective houles, and m going to and rcturninp, trom the fame ; in<] fbi any 
fpee h or debate in cither houte, they lhall not be queftioncd in any o'h-.-r place. 

No i'-'i.-t i- or repretentative fhab, d<irini> the time for which he wis elected, hr a: pointed to 
,.|.,! IS trrder the authority of the Unite I rate*, which thill have been created, or tin tow. 

'. -. All bill i for rai fins r -. • uc 1! ill originate 

ither bills. 

pat, . 

One of the first newspaper printings of the Constitution. It appeared in the 
Pennsylvania Packet, published by Dunlap & Claypoole, who were also the official 
Convention printers. 


were to set up the conventions. The copies sent to the States were 
apparently from a new printing that John Dunlap had subcon- 
tracted to John McLean (M'Lean), a New York City newspaper 

DURING the yearlong political struggle that ensued in the States 
prior to the establishment of the new Government, two distinct 
factions emerged. The advocates of the Constitution adopted the 
name "Federalists" and cleverly pinned on their opponents the 
label "Antifederalists," which had formerly described those who 
had fought against formation of the Confederation. Realizing that 
the " Anti" prefix placed them in the role of obstructionists and that 
they had no positive plan of their own to offer, the Antifederalists 
not only used the name reluctantly but also often tried to reject it 
and to transfer it to the Federalists, whom they claimed better 
deserved it. 

With good reason. The so-called Antifederalists were not really 
opposed to a federation; and many of them, especially those who 
advocated immediate amendment of the Constitution, believed 
they were the true defenders of the federal system. Most of them 
favored preservation of the Confederation. One of their strongest 
objections to the Constitution was that, in their minds, it 
established a national rather than a federal Government. For these 
reasons, they made a vain attempt to claim the Federalist name, 
which they sometimes even employed in the titles of their tracts or 
in the pseudonyms they frequently attached to them. 

Thus, the two terms are grossly misleading. The Federalists 
might more aptly have been called "Centralists" or "Nationalists" 
and the Antifederalists "Federalists" or "States righters." 
Furthermore, despite the bitterness of the ratification battles, the 
two designations imply a greater degree of basic antithesis than 
actually existed. Both sides sought an effective national Govern- 
ment and safeguards against tyranny, but they differed on the 
efficacy of specific constitutional provisions in achieving those 
goals. Use of the two labels is also unfortunate in that it falsely 
indicates a compartmentalization that was lacking. Within each 
of the two camps, a wide range and strong shades of opinions 
were manifested and some people switched allegiance. 

The composition of the two groups differed in practically every 
State. A host of geographical, economic, social, and political 


factors determined alinement. Although clear-cut divisions were 
blurred, the Federalists loosely encompassed those whose liveli- 
hoods were significantly linked to commerce, such as merchants, 
shippers, urban artisans, and farmers and planters residing near 
water transport, as well as members of the professions and 
creditors. All these groups were mainly concerned about the 
economic benefits and property safeguards against State actions a 
stronger central Government would provide. Many of the leaders 
enjoyed national political experience and had served as officers 
during the War for Independence. Usually more worldly than their 
Antifederalist counterparts, many had been educated abroad and 
were more experienced in foreign affairs. 

The Antifederalists tended to be more locally oriented. They 
included residents of isolated villages and towns, small farmers, 
frontiersmen, and debtors. These classes usually preferred 
maximum individual and local autonomy rather than the 
expansion of governmental power. 

Exceptions to these generalizations, however, were numerous. 
All rich merchants and planters did not necessarily favor the 
Constitution, nor poor farmers and mechanics oppose it. Nor was 
the eastern seaboard totally Federalist and the West completely 
Antifederalist. Sometimes a healthy minority of divergent opinion 
existed among similar groups within a particular section of a 
State or region. Several Antifederalists were well-to-do creditors, 
and some Federalists were heavily in debt. Back-country farmers 
in Georgia, concerned about the Indian and Spanish threats, 
backed a powerful central Government. Local circumstances also 
contributed to the Antifederalist stance of a number of large estate 
owners in the Hudson River area of New York State. 

The Antifederalists were as a whole probably more democratic 
than the Federalists, but many of the leaders were members of the 
aristocracy and maintained reservations about democracy; 
ordinarily only the poorer and less sophisticated Antifederalists 
espoused it. But neither side used the word "democracy" very 
often. When the Federalists did so it was usually with scorn; and, 
when the Antifederalists did so, it was more likely with favor. 

The Antifederalists were saddled with numerous disadvantages. 
They were not only less well organized and united than the 
opposition, but they were also on the defensive because they were 
objecting to a bold and comprehensive new plan of government. 


Many of them believed some changes in the Articles of Confedera- 
tion were needed, especially in the field of commerce, but they 
could not effectively object to all those recommended in the 

The Antifederalists also had fewer leaders of national stature. 
They included only six men who had attended the Constitutional 
Convention: Luther Martin, John F. Mercer, Robert Yates, John 
Lansing, Jr., George Mason, and Elbridge Gerry. Only the latter 
two had stayed for its duration though they, too, had not signed 
the Constitution. Other members of the group were Richard Henry 
Lee and Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and Samuel Chase of 
Maryland, all signers of the Declaration of Independence; Gov. 
George Clinton of New York; and Patrick Henry and James 
Monroe of Virginia. Like Henry, Lee had been elected to but did 
not attend the Convention. He chose not to do so because he felt it 
would be improper for Members of the Continental Congress to 
take part. He was the author of a powerful statement of the 
Antifederalist case, Letters From the Federal Farmer to the Repub- 

On the other hand, in the front rank of the Federalists were 
practically all the delegates to the Convention, including every 
one of the signers of the Constitution, among them such 
preeminent men as Washington, Franklin, Madison, and Hamil- 
ton; Randolph, who switched over from the Antifederalist side; 
signer of the Declaration Benjamin Rush; and diplomat John Jay, 

The cohesive Federalists evolved a concrete program, conducted 
a vigorous and well-tuned campaign, and benefited from strong 
newspaper support. Skillfully presenting their case, they wisely 
chose to emphasize issues on which national consensus could 
easily be obtained and ignored those that would aline section 
against section, rich against poor, or debtors against creditors. 
They also worked more quickly than their opponents and 
organized more effectively. They were more deft in parliamentary 
maneuvering at the ratifying conventions. The many compro- 
mises they had made in the creation of the Constitution made it 
more defensible and also more acceptable to various groups that 
might otherwise have opposed it. 

But the Federalists, too, faced several problems. They needed to 
convince the country that a totally new frame of Government was 

"" 1 #•&,.., 



h F T h 






1 ft A N U M B 2 R O t 







Title page of the original edition (1787) of Richard Henry Lee's Letters from the 
Federal Farmer to the Republican, a leading Antifederalist tract. 


needed. And many of those they were trying to convince were not 
sufficiently aware of the Nation's domestic and international 
problems and thus did not understand the need for and value of 
the remedies recommended. A large part of the populace, 
especially because of the recent clash with Britain, was opposed to 
any more change, to a strong central Government, and to the 
imposition of too many controls on State and local governments. 
Then, too, these governments resented any augmentation of 
national power at their expense. 

The Federalists also faced a significant handicap in that they 
needed to win the ratification contests in at least nine of the 
States, and particularly in the large and strategic States of 
Virginia and New York, as well as Massachusetts and Pennsylva- 
nia. The Antifederalists, on the other hand, could thwart the 
whole effort by winning any five States, and probably could 
accomplish the same if they won in either New York or Virginia. 

The arguments of the Federalists and Antifederalists — voiced 
and written in speeches, letters to newspaper editors and others, 
tracts, pamphlets, and at the State conventions — ranged from the 
theoretical to the practical and from the low-keyed to the highly 
emotional. Regional, sectional, and individual differences were 

The Antifederalists tended to defend the Articles of Confedera- 
tion, though they felt they needed to be modified, or advocated a 
weak central government that would allow maximum participa- 
tion of the people and insured State sovereignty. Most Antifederal- 
ists insisted that conditions were not as desperate as the 
Federalists painted and questioned the need for a drastically new 
Government. They felt the Constitution was too extreme a remedy 
for the problems of the Confederation. Thus, if they could not stop 
ratification of the document entirely, they committed themselves 
to its immediate revision by a second convention or by amend- 

Other fears were stressed: that many of the framers had ulterior 
motives, a charge that seemed plausible because of the secrecy of 
the Convention and the rush to ratify the Constitution; that the 
proposed new government, especially with its strong Executive 
and powerful Senate, would be more tyrannical than that of the 
British had been and would result in a monarchy or aristocratic 
rule; that, lacking a bill of rights, as the Constitution did, it would 


destroy personal liberties; that the checks and balances written 
into the document were insufficient to protect the rights of State 
and local governments ; that power was being transferred from the 
many to the few to inhibit or prevent future political change and 
reform ; and that the large States would overpower the small ones. 

Patrick Henry, who had declined to serve in the Convention 
because he "smelt a rat," began his objections with the first three 
words of the Constitution. Who, he wondered, were the delegates 
to say "We the People"? They should have said "We the States." 
Otherwise, the Government would no longer be a compact among 
equal States but a "consolidated, national government of the 
people of all the states." 

Another charge was that the Convention had ignored or 
exceeded its instructions from Congress to amend the Articles of 
Confederation, had abandoned their federal basis, and violated 
procedures for their amendment with the nine-State ratification 
requirement. The Federalists were also accused of having ties with 
foreigners and with being sympathetic to a monarchy. 

The Antifederalists rarely mentioned national security or 
foreign affairs. Even when they did, they did not deny Federalist 
arguments but contended that the good that might be gained in 
these fields by the Constitution would be offset by the disadvan- 
tages of such great central power and that amendments to the 
Articles of Confederation could bring about the necessary 
improvements. There would be enough time to provide an 
adequate defense once war broke out, and direct federal taxation 
could be resorted to if the old requisitioning system on the States 
failed to work. 

Another point made by some Antifederalists was that a single 
government would be unable to rule a country as large and 
complex as the United States, which was far larger than any 
earlier federation, without becoming tyrannical. Regional confed- 
erations were considered to be more effective. 

Some aversion to the Constitution was sectional in nature. For 
example, the Southern States feared the commerce clause would 
allow the Northeastern States, which owned and built most of the 
ships, to control their trade. The maritime States might obtain a 
monopoly by securing the passage of navigation laws restricting 
commerce to American ships or of tariffs unfavorable to the 
South. It was felt, too, that the Senate might use its treaty power 


to surrender free navigation of the Mississippi, which was 
critically important to the region, as well as to the West. 

The Federalists, who asserted that the Convention had followed 
the spirit of its congressional instructions, stressed the deficien- 
cies in the Articles of Confederation. Viewing the Constitution as 
a workable compromise of divergent opinions and granting that it 
was not perfect, its advocates held that it was nevertheless vastly 
superior to the Articles and that subsequent amendments could 
purge its imperfections. Constitutional supporters, warning that 
delays in ratification would result in disastrous disunion and that 
a second convention would likely destroy the agreements already 
achieved, fought for quick and unconditional ratification. 

Denying that the government they proposed would sweep aside 
States rights, the Federalists pointed out that all powers not 
specifically granted to it, like the protection of individual rights, 
were by implication State prerogatives; and that under any 
system of government large States could usually overpower small 
ones but that they would be less likely to do so within the 
framework of a friendly and voluntary union. 

As a counter to Antifederalist charges that a federation would 
not work in such a huge country, the Federalists argued that the 
larger a federation was the less chance there would be that any of 
its members could dominate the others. Furthermore, the system 
devised at Philadelphia, they stated, was a balanced and federal 
structure in which no one institution or individual could gain 
undue dominance. It was, therefore, a judicious application of the 
principles of republicanism. 

The Federalists wisely concentrated their fire on three practical 
issues with broad appeal. The first was national security, which 
most people agreed was weak under the Articles. Under that 
instrument, advocates of the Constitution said that, though the 
Continental Congress could declare war, it could not procure 
enough money and men to wage it. Direct taxation was required 
in wartime to obtain sufficient revenue. The standing Army and 
Navy the Constitution authorized could protect the country from 
invasion, enhance its prestige, discourage foreign intervention, 
and perhaps offer an opportunity to drive the British out of the 
posts in the Great Lakes area as well as to thwart Spanish 
designs in the Southwest. Some Federalists related the foreign- 
debt problem to national security. They held that the debt was a 

r h t 











SEPTEMBER i 7> 1787. 






In a series of anonymous newspaper essays during 1787 - 88, soon published in 
book form (1788) as The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and 
John Jay strongly advocated ratification of the Constitution. 


potential source of conflict and might result in attacks on U.S. 
commerce unless Congress was assured steady revenue, as it 
would be under the Constitution. 

The second issue stressed by the Federalists was the bad 
economic situation, including the decline in shipbuilding and 
trade. They said this condition resulted primarily from the 
incapability of Congress to conclude favorable commercial 
treaties with other countries or to execute those it had negotiated. 
As a result, it was difficult to retaliate against foreign-trade 
restrictions, especially those of the British, or to arrange for 
American instead of British ships to carry goods. 

The Federalists related both the national security and commerce 
issues to congressional ineffectiveness in meeting its treaty 
commitments. Unless Congress could help British merchants 
collect the prewar debts owed to them by Americans, the British 
could use that excuse to continue occupying the Great Lakes posts. 
And Britain would likely not agree to a commercial treaty until 
Congress had the power to speak for all the States. 

Thirdly, the Federalists appealed to national pride. Referring to 
the insults inflicted on U.S. diplomats and appealing to the 
prevalent Anglophobia, they contended that the increased 
military power and governmental strength the Constitution 
afforded would enhance national prestige and elevate the United 
States in the eyes of other nations. If the document were not 
adopted, dissolution of the Union was likely and the States as 
independent entities would possess little power. 

But perhaps the most simple and direct pleading of the 
Federalist cause was the letter Washington sent along with the 
Constitution when he submitted it to the Continental Congress. 
Its purpose, he wrote, was the "consolidation of our Union, in 
which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our 
national existence." 

Arguments were important, but the actual process of ratification 
involved practical politics. 

SOME of the State battles were fierce. Reason sometimes yielded 
to passion and both sides on occasion resorted to mudslinging and 
rough-and-tumble tactics. Yet, for the most part, the conventions 
were democratically conducted. 
Giving the Federalists an initial momentum, in December 1787 


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Delaware, whose ratification notice is reproduced above, was the first State to 
approve the Constitution, on December 7, 1787. 

and January 1788 the conventions of five States promptly ratified 
the Constitution. In all these cases, opposition was either lacking 
or ratification action was quick enough to forestall it. The votes in 
Delaware (December 7), New Jersey (December 18), and Georgia 
(January 2) were unanimous. Before opposition could be orga- 
nized, two-thirds of the Pennsylvania convention (December 12) 
balloted for ratification. The Constitution passed in Connecticut 
(January 9) by a 3 to 1 margin. Except for Pennsylvania, where 
the vote may not have accurately indicated the opinion of the 
electorate because of the haste with which the convention was 
held, Federalist strength was overpowering in these States. 

Between February 6 and June 21, 1788, four more conventions 
ratified the new instrument of Government. The first major test 
came in Massachusetts. Although he was not a member of the 
convention, Elbridge Gerry, who had attended the Constitutional 
Convention for its duration but had refused to sign the document, 
led the Antifederalists. Federalist leaders included signers of the 
Constitution Rufus King and Nathaniel Gorham, as well as Caleb 
Strong. On February 6, after the popular John Hancock and 
Samuel Adams, both underwriters of the Declaration of Independ- 


ence, converted to the Federalist cause, the convention narrowly 
(187-168) approved ratification, but recommended nine amend- 

All the subsequent States except Maryland were also to propose 
amendments, many including recommendations for adoption of a 
bill of rights and a second convention. Exercise of the amendment 
technique, which obviously required compromise on the part of the 
Federalists, came at a time when in many places their opponents 
were suggesting the calling of another convention to consider 
amendments. Such action would probably have been chaotic, 
especially if certain States specified the adoption of particular 
amendments as a condition of ratification. Thus, for the Feder- 
alists, the Massachusetts action in merely proposing amendments 
provided a desirable precedent. 

The New Hampshire convention convened in February 1788 but 
adjourned until June to allow time for further debate in the 
delegates' home districts. The tempo of ratification revived, 

The first in a series of allegories depicting ratification progress among the States 
that appeared in the Massachusetts Centinel, beginning on January 16, 1788. 



C E 

N t 1 N E L, 


States — like the gen'rous viae fupported live, < 

The ftreagth Lhey earn is from th'embrace they giv j 




however, when Maryland (April 28) and South Carolina (May 23) 
accepted the Constitution by substantial margins. 

But people knew the real trials would come in the large States of 
Virginia and New York. Without their approval, the success of the 
new Government would be jeopardized. Serious clashes occurred 
in both places and the votes were close. When the Virginia 
convention began on June 2, the pro-Federalist delegates believed 
that their State, the largest and most populous, would fittingly be 
the ninth to ratify and thus make possible inauguration of the 
new Government. 

Among those arguing the Antifederalist side were George 
Mason, Patrick Henry, and James Monroe. Their opponents 
included James Madison, John Marshall, George Wythe, and 
Edmund Pendleton, as well as Edmund J. Randolph after 
Madison won him over. One factor that apparently swung over 
some enemies of the Constitution was the belief that, if it were 
approved, Washington would likely be the first President. The vote 
in its favor, on June 26, was close, 89 to 79. But, meantime, 5 days 
earlier, New Hampshire, where the Federalists won another 
narrow victory, had become the ninth State to approve the 
Constitution. This was not known in Virginia until after the final 
vote there. 

Another crucial race took place in New York, where the 
convention had been meeting since June 17. Hamilton was the 
chief strategist of the Federalists. Although he felt the Constitu- 
tion granted insufficient power to the central Government, he was 
convinced it was the best that could be obtained politically at that 
time, did not publicly acknowledge the extent of his reservations, 
and worked diligently and cleverly for adoption. 

Hamilton conceived the idea of The Federalist Papers. A series 
of 85 essays first published by the newspapers in 1787-88 and 
almost immediately reissued in book form, the papers presented 
one of the most effective statements of the Federalist position and 
carried considerable weight in the New York battle, as well as in 
Virginia. Although the essays were issued under a pseudonym, 
the actual authors were Hamilton, who probably wrote 51 ; Mad- 
ison, 26; John Jay, 5; and jointly by Madison and Hamilton, 3. 

Gov. George Clinton, who strongly urged a second federal 
convention, headed the New York Antifederalists. Other leaders 
were Robert Yates and John Lansing, Jr., who had left the 



T O 


Independent Journal, 

NeW'Tork, July 2, 1788. 

Jn our Independent Journal of this Morning,we announced the Rati- 
fication of the New Conflitntion by the Convention of Virginia : 
For the gratification of our Readers, we pttHiJI) the following 
particulars, received by this day's pofl .- — 

Ratification of the New Conftitution, by the Con- 
vention of V irginia, on Wedneftlay laft, by z 
Majority of 10:— 88 for it, 78 againft it. 

WE the delegates of the 
people of Virginia, duly 
elected, in purfhap.^ < A a re- 
commendation ol the General 
Afiembly, and now met in 
Convention, having lully and 
fairly investigated and difcufled 
the proceedings of the 1/ederal 
Convention, and being prepared' 
as well as the rhoft^matorenie-sg 
liberation will < u ahl^is Jo de^, 
tide thereon, DO, m the •Kfriu 
and on behail of the rSJptnof* 
Virginia, declare and make' 
,\ n. that tin powers - ranted 
mder the Conftitution being 
derived from the people ( I the 
I n ted States, maybe refumed 
by them vvhenfoevei the ( ami 
lhall be p< '.verted to theii in- 
jui ) 01 oppn ITion, and that 
I : not granted there 
by, remains with them, and at 
chci] will 'i hat therefore no 
. ; -n\ d< nomination, can 
be can i !'• d, abridged, n drain- 
ed or m dified b) th< ( longn G . 
b) th< Senate, or Iloufe oi Re- 
ntatn i • i< ting ,:i an) ca- 
by th« Prciidi nt, 01 an) 
■ itnicnt i 

With theft impreflions, with 
a folemn appeal to the fearcher 
ol hearts lor the purity of oui 
intentions, and under the eon- 
viclion, that whatsoever imper- 
fections ma) exift in the Con- 
flitntion, ou»lu lath- r to be ex- 
amined In the mode prefcribed 
therein, than to bring the 
p.i&mA^into dangci b) a delay, 
A-itl* -Jl h »pe ol obtaining 
amendment i pr< '■.■■■■:- to th< 

N-a^ihtatiori : 

itni< nt O) oflii - ■. "I the 
. pt in thof< 
■ ■ • in es where power i i giv< n 
b) the Conftiti ti< >n for thole 
purpofes : That among other 
1 \}[ nti .! 1 ights, the liberty < i 

. i< -, . nd ol th< pn I . 

it 1 < lied,, alu id;; d, 

ained or modified by an) 
authority oi the United States. 


We the (aid dclcgati s, In the 
name and \\> b< hall of the peo- 
ple ol \ iiginia, do by theft 
pi ■ r <. rtl .''■'" nt to and r itif) the 
I ftitution n on m< nded on 
tlu 1 7th day of S< ptember, 
1787, b) the Federal Conven- 
tii n for the govi rn i nt of the 
I Inked St *t< s - hi reby an- 
nouncing to all th >'.'■ ..h'.iv, it 
ma) con ern, th it the laid 
Conftitution ig upon 

the •■ dd >ple, according to an 
luthentic cop) hereto annexed, 
in th; words foil wing • — 

[I/ere followed a t oty < f the 
'/,' on I 

A letti i from Ri< hmi >nd ad- 
\ ifi . '" thai a motion for pre- 
vion ; an rejected 

by a m ijoi it j ol I >< h r ; but 
■ • days v ould b palled 
in confide ring fubfequi nt a- 
• d th< ft, : ...•- 
p red, from the tempei of the 
Com , would be r i t om- 

Ml NDJ D " 

NEW-t )RJ ' Mid A M'LEAM, Frank I 

A New York City newspaper announces details of Virginia's ratification. 

Constitutional Convention early, at least partially because of 
objections to its nationalistic tenor. 

Hamilton was forced to wage an uphill fight, characterized by 
threats and bargains. At the beginning of the convention, the 

Order of Procesfion, 

In honor of the-*e<tablifhment of the Cokstitctiok of the United States. 

To parade preoitely at Eight o'clock in the Morning, of Friday, tfac.^th of J U L T, 1788, proceeding along Tbird-ftrett to Callowbill-Jlrttt ; 

thence to Fourtb-ftreet j down Fourtb-ftrett to Market-fireet ; thence to the Grounds in Front of BuJh-bUl. 


a j o a /',.», c «... 

!■ ■. L and caps. 

ith twelve A>e-mcri, 

ick, carrying a 
fleurs-de iyi and 

The City Treop of Light. Horfc, commanded by 
Colonel Mtlti. 


J?hn Nixan, Eft], on horfeback, bearing tie Kaffand 
tap of Liberty— The words, M 4/i July. 1776," 
in gold tetters, pendant from the. fUfi. 


roar Pieces if Artillery, with 1 detachment from the 
Traia, commanded by Captains Marrtli and Fijlur. 

Tbomai Fiiz^nami, B.k{; on horfeback, car 
flag, while groand, having thr 
thirteen liar* in union, over the words " bib Ft- 
aVaarr, 17711, '* tn gold letters. 

Corp! of Light-Infantry, commanded by Capt. Clay- 
fault, from the ill regiment. 

Qtorgt Corner, Ed\, on horfeback. carrying a ftaff, 
adorned with olive and laurel, the words " id Sip. 
Hmitr, 1783," in gold letteri, pendant from lite 


Col. John Shoe, on horfeback, carrying a flag, blue 
held, with a laorel and an olive wrealh over the 
words— " WASHIN "irON, THt Faiar.0 or 
" his Cookts v"— in illver letters— • the ftarV a 
domed with olive and laurel. 


The City Troop of Light Dragoons, commanded by 

tstaji. "'• y — V" 


Jbiiard Barbt. Pfq. on hoifeback, as a Herald, at 
tendea bv a trumpet, pr iclaimm^ a New .Era- - 
the words •' N«t» -1i 1 a." in golllencr>, p. r.dant 
from the Herald's itaiT, and the Sallowing line,, 
Plan t'tr our latd birjl^< w" "Indi, 
Aid wiri" ni'd /••swaw/r.., Il.noti, t.jnmmU , 
Tb, tnmti of /■■'•*' "/ ^•"■bj £*H Jml, 
Hilar, S J'J' 1 " V" V" h ' r /«*• 


fke Hon. Tntr MuhUnkrg, Efq; Vice Prefnfent of 

Pennfylvanta. on horfeback. carrying a fug blue 

delj, emblazoned — be words " i;/A> Stpiimbtr, 

1787," in iiiver letters, on the Hag. 


Bine? of Mode. 

The Honorable Chicf-Jufliw M'Kean, 
The Hon. Judge Alice, The Hon. Judge Rufli, 
(in their Kobe* of Office) 
In an ornamented Car, drawn by fix horfes, bearing 
the CONSTITUTION, f anted, Sued 00 a ftaff, 
crowned wttfeg&e Cap of Liberty—the words — 
■' Tut PWp-E," in geld letters, on the llaiF, 
immediately- onder the ConlHtuuon. 

Corps of Light-Infantry, commanded by Capt. /Vrr- 

/bam, from rbe 3d regiment. 


Ten Gentlemen, rcprefenting the State* that have n- 
dopted the Feeder:.] CoaHltuuori 

1. DuncM* lmgrabam, Et'<3; 

2. JtnMtbm Willutmi, juu. Eft) 

3. 'furidl tagir/ttl, Elq; 

4. Hon. Chief Juilice Brtarltj, 

5. jMutWii/tm, Efqj 

6. Col. Tb*mu Rtilii/fa, 

7. Hon. 7. E. Hneard, Efq; 
*. Col. Ftmigcr, 
9. «T. Ward Burrrai, E%; 
jo. Gttrgf hlgadt* Efq; 
Bearing dijtinguiihtng flags sot) walking arm iat arm, 

emblematic of Union. 

Colonel WVStm Willitm, m tranotw, on b«»tt>»ck, 





P,„ffl V 0M,m. 






bearing a Shield, emblazoned with the arms of toe 
United States. 

The Montgomery county Troop of-jUeht-Horfe, eont- 
mandad by Jami Afsrrii, BTqtiirc. 


An ornamented Car, drawn by four hones, bearing 
Captain Thma, Bilk carrying the Flag of Tit 
Vmilid Slam, — Monheur Barbi d* Mar hi 1, Flag of*. 
Fro*™,—. Mr. Htt mtLm. Flag of Tbi U-indNtibirr 
Und,. — Mr. /y<#«4rFFiag ofSn»4», — Mr. £/riV 
Flag «r rr*tfm,—TL~,t M*r.U,, Efquire, Hast,' 
Mor«<ce t — States in alliance with Anuria. sfl 

of . 

States in alliance with AmtrtcA. 

The Judge, Regiftrr, Marfhal, and other Officers of 
the Coart of Admiralty, with their inngnia. 

Wardens of the Port, and Tonnage Officers. 


Collector of the Cntloms, and Naval OSiccr. 


The San-eyor-Gencra 1 , Receiver-General, Secretary, 
and other OtHcers of the Land Otnce. „ 


Regiiler, Recorder of Deeds, and Comptrolier-Gc; 


i°r/<r S«ra/»», Efq; aod Colonel 7/oer Mikbtr, at 
an ^m-.Tican and an Indian, Imoakisg the Calls*. 
met o! Peace, in a carriage drawB by tv/o horfes. * 


rijgr drawn by ten horfes, containing MelFrs. fiilc 
r\ ttai r. Onrgt Lalimert, Jei* Wharf*, Jtbi 
."' '.",/r, SamurlMvr,,, J,b, sSr*u/«, Tnei Friuf 
*■■• J<-'l>b Aitbtiir. ■ja±*rh*L.~r atiH />-*«- Oaaas* 

Attended by the Houic-carponters. 


Corps of Light Infantry, commanded by Captain 

■rtajye, 5th regiment. 


The Agricultural Society, headed by their Preiident, 
4. f.W, Efq; 


The Fanners, headed by rtVito-a' f«rrr, *<r4W 
fritting, Samuel Mtreditb, Ijaac fVarnrr, Gtarte- 
Gray, William Pillv. — — Barioart and Qwrlti 

Willing, with ploughs, arc. 


The Manufacturing Society, with the fpinttirtg and 
carding machines, looms. Sec. beaded by rtssWf 

llun, Efq; 

Corps of Liijtit Infantry, commtided by Capt. JU'r 
fm, from the 6th regiment. 

The Marine Society, sritb their ialignia. 

The Fmderal Ship, The UNION, segtsraanded by 
Jehu Gnu, Efq; Captain S. Smiih, fMKikiar and 
Mr. Mirier, Lieutenants, witi a proper trew of 
Omcert and Seamen. 

The Pilotf of the Port, with a Pilot Boat. 

Boat Builders, with a Barge. 

The Ship-carpenters, Sail-sjulcers, Rope-makers, 
Block-makers and Riggers. 

The Merchants and Traders of the city and liberties 
of Philadelphia, headed by TUma, fPiUag, Etq ) 
with their inngnia— followc4 by the Merchants 

Corps of Light Infantry, commanded bjrCapt. SfrnS, 
horn the ath regiment. 



1. Cordwalaert. 


a. Coach painters. 


3. Cabinet and Chair-makers. 


4- Brkk-makcrs. 


5. Painters. 

• 6. P««~. 


7. Watch-makers. 

I- Fringe and Ribband Wearers. 


9. Bricklayers. 


10. Taylors. 

Inftrument-makers, Turaers and Windibr 

1 a. Carvers and Gilders. 

15, Cooper*. 

14. Plane-makers. 

ir. Weip Manufacturers. 

*lanlr fmi> k -. tt'xs,. fWuh,. MasU tsassssa* 
»ad Bcll-hangtrra. 




|S. Poitcra. 

10. Hatters. 


CO. Wheel -wrtghta. 

21. Tin-plate Wotken. 


at. Skinners, Breeches maker* aad Glovers. 


«3- Tallow chaodlera. 


>4, Butcher*. 


«j. Printers, Stationers and Book-binders. 


26. Saddler*. 

LVL • 

ty. Strme-curterla 

aa. Baker*. 


29. Gun-smiths, 

30. Copper-ftniths. 

\) Y Co 

31. Gvld-fniiths. Silvci-fmithsand Jeweller t. 


ti. Lhttillcr:. 




*4- Brals-Iounders. 


35. Shocking Manufacturers. 


36. Carriers and Tanners. 


37- Droggiii. 

'35. A \J$xoit\cvcTt. 


39' Sugar* refiner.. 

40. B/c*e«. 

tyi. Pemkr-meikeri. and Barbci** 

4t. Ship-c handkr-. 


4 j. Engra.ers. 

44. Plaiitcrers. 

Corp* of L'tghc Infantry, commanded by C«pt. j?«j. the 2d regiment. 

The Civil and Military OlTicers of Coogrefi isa the 


HU Excellency AePRESIDKNT, tnd the 
buru.i EkbCUTic* Cou^clL. 

Tit* Joftice* of the Gofftmta Pleas and the 

Uenit find Cort-ocj-, on KoHcbAck. 

Criy Wiirdeat. 

CoaftaJ&t and Watth men . 

The gendemea of Uw B«r , bended by the Honorable 
Kdwwd Siifift» t Efijoire, Prendent of the Com- 
moa PieJU, nnd fFiUiam Bradftrd* lifqoire, Attor- 
ney-Geuerai, followed by the Mudenn of Law. 

The C'lergy of the difierent deooa-iinauom. 

The College of PfcyficiMW, headed by tbtir Prefideat, 

Dr. Rtdaaa. 
Studmu of tbe Uotvesrfity, headed by the Vice Pm- 

voft, and of other Schools, headed by tacir re/pec- 
tire Pii&cipaU, Proftfibri, Maitcn and Tutor,. 

The Coast/ Tooop of Light Horfe, comrainded by 
Major ff. Maefltrfen, bricgiag up the tar of the 

Major Futitrtm to Buend the right wing ■ Colonc. 
Sit*tfii the left wing. 

On the Uaioa Gush, « Bdh-lull, Mr. Wiliob 
will deli vet so Oration, felted to the Jay ( */ter 
which « ColUuon will be prrpa.*d for the coaipa- 

The following: gentlemen, diiHogui/hed by it white 
feather in tne hat, are Seperintendanti oPthe pro- 
ceffion. General Mifii*. General St ma* r, CoIgdcI 

I Pr*3ar, Cn4oael Gmrmty, Major Mttrt, Major Lt~ 
w>, Mr. Pvtr Br*™, Colonel Wxii. ColoneJ - 

To add to the en»erti!hment of the day, tea veileU 
will be prepsPttd and paraded <u rbltons, one re- 
pefenting Nrw-Hemtjbire, oppofite the Nortbern-li- 
bertiej,-— the next for Mmfuihufttt,, oppoiitc Vine* 
ftreet, — C*a*$8itut t oppofite Racc-ftreet, — ajV^M.'.^rr- 
fly, Kfi;\\—*Ptnnfrlv*Mia t Markctv«-i)/aV mart , (. hcrt- 
nat'^Mfryla-uf, Walnot— •f r trginia, Spruce---5fia/i- 
C*rvb**t Pine— and G**rgi*, ooa^-^reet. The Ri- 
hhq 3wn, otider the comcaaod of Capuin Pbtlif 
Brrofi. will be anchored a£ Maxkea-itrert, and lu- 
perbly dreffed. At night (be will be band&sicly il- 

Bj Otitr 4/ tUCommitta •/ Arra*itmrnt, 

Francis Bopkinfen, Chairtmn. 

mrn-rmjj &lp. 

Tbiicdelpbia: Printtd by HALL tmi S ^ 


Pennsylvania, an early and enthusiastic supporter of ratification, conducted a 
parade in Philadelphia on July 4, 1788, by which time sufficient States had ratified 
to insure establishment of the Constitution. 


Antifederalists were clearly in the majority, though New York 
City had sent a Federalist delegation. Hamilton, arguing that 
conditional ratification would endanger the State by keeping it out 
of the Union, fought a delaying action and managed to postpone a 
final vote until the anticipated news arrived that Virginia and 
New Hampshire had ratified. The balance of power then swung to 
the Federalists. On July 26, 1788, by a bare margin of 30-27 New 
York became the 11th State to ratify. But it appended the record 
number of 32 suggested amendments and sent along various other 
resolutions, including a vigorous recommendation for a second 

Two States that had printed large amounts of paper money and 
had been active in debtor relief, North Carolina and Rhode Island, 
did not ratify until after the new Government was set up. On 
August 2, 1788, the former, unaware of the New York decision, 
overwhelmingly voted to defer action on the Constitution until a 
second federal convention considered a declaration of rights and 
other amendments. Influenced by the First Congress' proposal of 



Vol IX 

$> REDEUto r SATURtolA REG to A. 

f On the erection of the Eleventh PILLAR of the great r . 

tionA DOME, iue btg hwue mofi jincenly to jihcitate " our dear, count. 

Rife it 


jT The foundation 
gO(,d — ;/ mcy 'it 


ELEVEN STARS, in quick lucceflion riic— 
ELEVEN COLUMNS itrike our wonJ'ringeyes, 
Soon o'er the subtle, {hall fwcli the beauteous DOME, 
COLUMBlA'»boaft— and FREEDOM'S hallow'd hotue. 

Here fhall the ARTS in glorious fplcndour fhine ! 
And AGR1CULT URE give her llores divine ! 
COMMERCE rcfin'd, difpcnl'c us more than gold, 
And th:» new world, teach WISDOM to the old — 
RELIGION here fhall fix her blcfl abode, 
Arvay'd in mHJnrft, like ita parent GOD ! 
JUSTICE and LAW, fhall cndlcfs PEACE maintain, 
And tbt " SATURN1AN AGE," return again. 

The last of 11 allegories in the Massachusetts Centinel, August 2. 1788, that 
traced the status of ratification. 

t ~yJr//f/s//fr' -^r/A/r rt/Mt /{> Freedom IcaXi/, 
' r/'/'tf'/'"'''/' ^/v/ /tf/.t, ff/tr/ r/>'// A/s « ^y-f.j YstYl'a j 

/f//r/f .Justice, /Vy, •///•/ Peace, r// //.J rrc/r'V W , 
' '// r/// /trrr/ rrtrA '' /s>/ts/, rt ///-/ /srr/s r/t ///rrr ///'</ //t< iJurt. t</ 

• .. .,,-/• •/ •■ « '■' 

Americans early revered the Constitution, as evidenced by this magazine sketch 
in 1788. Cupid presents a copy of the document to Concord, as she approaches 
the 13-pillared Temple of Liberty, Justice, and Peace. Clio, the Muse of history, 
kneeling alongside Concord, records the message Cupid is delivering. 


the Bill of Rights and other factors, on November 21, 1789, a 
second North Carolina convention ratified the Constitution. 

Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which had been the 
lone absentee at the Philadelphia Convention, stayed out of the 
Union until 1790. During that period, the legislature seven times 
defeated resolutions calling for a convention. Under threats of 
economic coercion by the Federal Government and the secession 
of Providence and other towns, on May 29, 1790, the State 
narrowly ratified. It was the last of the Thirteen Original States to 
do so. 

For all the passions generated by the ratification battles, most 
of the Antifederalists gracefully accepted defeat — though their 
efforts soon won the Bill of Rights. With that exception, they 
would give the Constitution an opportunity to stand or fall on its 
own merits. With amendments, it has stood until this day. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE'S ratification in June 1788 had fulfilled the 
nine-State requirement to establish the Government. But, for 
various reasons, the Continental Congress did not take steps to do 
so until July 28, or 2 days after New York adopted the instrument. 
At that time, Congress, meeting in New York City, set dates for 
the selection and meeting of electors. In September it named New 
York City as the temporary Capital. 

Not restricted by specific constitutional requirements, the State 
legislatures chose the dates for the election of their Representa- 
tives and Senators and made arrangements for selecting electors. 
In accordance with the timetable fixed by the Continental 
Congress, on February 4, 1789, the Presidential electors cast their 
ballots. The formal counting of the electoral votes was delayed 
pending the opening of the First Congress, which was scheduled 
to meet on March 4. But it was not until April 6 that Congress 
reached a quorum and began sitting at City (later Federal) Hall in 
New York City, where the Continental Congress had been 
meeting. That same day, the electoral votes were counted before a 
joint congressional session. George Washington was unanimously 
elected as President, and John Adams as Vice President. At 
Federal Hall on April 30 Washington was inaugurated. The new 
Government, the creation of the Constitution, was underway. 

SINCE 1787 the Constitution has been considerably modified to 
perfect, amplify, and keep it abreast of changing times. The main 


All along the route, the populace paid tribute to George Washington as he 
traveled from Mount Vernon to his inauguration in New York City. Here is an 
artist's depiction of the salute he received in New York Harbor. 

mechanisms have been amendments and judicial interpretation. 
The amending process is outlined in Article V of the Constitution. 
Amendments may be proposed to the States either by Congress, 
based on a two-thirds vote in both Houses; or by a convention 
called by Congress at the request of the legislatures of two-thirds 
of the States. Ratification requires the approval of three-fourths of 
the States, either by their legislatures or special conventions as 
Congress may direct. No national constitutional convention has 
ever been called, and the only amendment ratified by special State 
convention was the 21st. 

The number of amendments to date totals 26, the first 10 of 
which (Bill of Rights) were enacted shortly after ratification of the 
original document. When this volume went to press, another had 


Washington's inauguration on the balcony of Federal Hall, New York City, April 30, 
1789. This is the only known contemporary rendition of the event. 

been passed by Congress and was being actively considered by 
the States. Those that have been accepted have survived a 
grueling process. Thousands of proposals for amendments of all 
sorts — praiseworthy and frivolous, realistic and impractical, even 
including suggestions for a virtually new Constitution — have been 
recommended over the years by Congressmen, political scientists, 
and others. But these have either failed to win the favor of 
Congress or the States. 
Of the successful amendments, some, reflecting changing 


national aspirations and mores as well as fundamental social 
transformations, have produced governmental reforms and social 
changes. Others have refined the constitutional structure for such 
purposes as democratizing the political system, improving its 
functioning, or relieving associated abuses. The first 10 amend- 
ments came into being because of fear of national governmental 

Except for the Bill of Rights, until the last half-century 
amendments have been relatively rare. For 122 years after 1791, 
when the Bill of Rights was adopted, only five (two in the early 
years of the Republic and three in the aftermath of the Civil War) 
were enacted — or an average of one about every 25 years. Since 
1913, on the other hand, the Nation has approved 11, or one every 
5 l /2 years or so. The increased frequency in recent times is 
doubtless to a considerable extent attributable to the rapidity of 
social and economic change. 

From the beginning regarded as virtually a part of the original 
Constitution, the Bill of Rights was mainly designed to prevent 
the Federal Government from infringing on the basic rights of 
citizens and the States. Essentially a reassertion of the traditional 
rights of Englishmen as modified and strengthened by the 
American experience, these measures had already been delineated 
in various forms — in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787; the 
declarations, or bills, of rights that had been adopted by most 
States, either separately or as part of their constitutions; the 
Declaration of Independence (1776); the Declaration of Rights 
that the First Continental Congress had issued in 1774; and early 
colonial manifestoes. 

During the Constitutional Convention and the ratification 
struggle in the States, many objections had been made to the 
exclusion from the Constitution of similar guarantees. When 
ratifying, many States expressed reservations and suggested 
numerous amendments, especially a bill of rights. North Carolina, 
decrying the absence of a declaration of rights in the Constitution, 
even refused to ratify in 1788 and did not do so until the following 
year, after the new Government had been established and by 
which time such provisions had been proposed for addition to the 

Washington called attention to the lack of a bill of rights in his 
Inaugural Address, and the First Congress moved quickly to 


correct this fault. Madison, in a prodigious effort, synthesized 
most of the amendments the States had recommended into nine 
propositions. The House committee, on which he sat, expanded 
these to 17. The Senate, with House concurrence, later reduced the 
number to 12. Meantime, the decision had been made to append 
all amendments to the Constitution rather than to insert them in 
the text at appropriate spots, as Madison had originally desired. 

By December 1791 the States had ratified the last 10 of the 12 
amendments, which the Congress had submitted to them in 
September 1789. The first of the two that were not sanctioned 
proposed a future change in the numerical constituency of 
Representatives and in their number; the second would have 
deferred any changes in congressional salaries that might be 
made until the term of the succeeding Congress. 

The first amendment, covering the free expression of opinion, 
prohibits congressional interference with the freedom of religion, 
speech, press, assembly, and petition. Amendments two through 
four guarantee the rights of citizens to bear arms for lawful 
purposes, disallow the quartering of troops in private homes 
without the consent of the owner, and bar unreasonable searches 
and seizures by the Government. 

Amendments five, six, and eight essentially provide protection 
against arbitrary arrest, trial, and punishment, principally in 
Federal criminal cases though over the course of time the judiciary 
has held that many of the provisions also apply in State cases. 
Mainly to prevent harassment of the citizenry by governmental 
officials, these measures establish the right of civilian defendants 
to grand jury indictments for major crimes; prohibit "double 
jeopardy," or duplicate trial, for the same offense, as well as self- 
incrimination; deny deprivation of "life, liberty, or property 
without due process of law"; insure the right of the accused to 
have legal counsel, be informed of the nature and cause of the 
accusation, subpoena witnesses on his own behalf, confront the 
witnesses against him, and to receive an expeditious and public 
jury trial; and ban excessive bails and fines, as well as "cruel and 
unusual punishments." The fifth amendment also prohibits the 
Government seizure of private property under the doctrine of 
eminent domain without proper compensation. 

The seventh amendment guarantees the right of a jury trial in 
virtually all civil cases. 


Amendment nine states that the rights enumerated in the 
Constitution are not to be "construed to deny or disparage others 
retained by the people." The 10th amendment, somewhat different 
from the other nine because of its allusion to the States, reserves 
to them and the people all "powers not delegated to the United 
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States." 

Contrary to a popular misconception, the main body of the 
Constitution also contains various safeguards similar to those in 
the Bill of Rights that protect citizens and the States against 
unreasonable actions. Article I prohibits the Government from 
suspending the writ of habeas corpus, which would otherwise 
allow arbitrary arrest; and both the national Government and the 
States from enacting bills of attainder (legislative punishment of 
crimes) and ex post facto laws (retroactively making acts 
criminal). Article III requires a jury trial for Federal crimes, and 
limits the definition of treason and penalties for the offense. 

Article IV guarantees that the acts, records, and judicial 
proceedings of one State are valid in all the others; grants to 
citizens of every State the privileges and immunities of the others 
as denned by law; warrants the representative government and 
territorial integrity of the States; and promises them the 
protection of the national Government against foreign invasion 
and domestic insurrection. Article VI excludes religious tests for 

Nevertheless, it is the Bill of Rights that has become the main 
bulwark of the civil liberties of the American people. These 
measures, which make the Constitution a defender of liberty as 
well as an instrument of governmental power, represented another 
swing of the pendulum. The Articles of Confederation had created 
a weak league of semi-independent States. As a result, citizens 
looked primarily to the States for protection of their basic rights, 
which were denned in constitutions or separate declarations. 
Then, the Constitution provided a strong central Government. 
This was counterbalanced by the Bill of Rights, which allowed 
continuance of such a Government with full regard for the rights 
of the people. 

In recent decades, the Bill of Rights has acquired increased 
significance to all citizens because the Supreme Court has ruled 
that many portions of it are applicable to the States as well as to 
the Federal Government. 


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^:-;,v .: 

The Bill of Rights. 

The 11th amendment, which was passed by Congress in 1794 
and ratified the next year, was engendered by State objections to 
the power of the Federal judiciary and represents the only 
occasion to date whereby an amendment has limited its authority. 
Curtailing Federal power in actions brought against individual 
States, the measure denies the Federal courts jurisdiction over 
private suits brought against one State by citizens of another or of 
a foreign country. 

The 12th amendment, which won the approbation of Congress 


in 1803 and State approval the following year, is a constitutional 
accommodation to the formation of political parties. Many of the 
Founding Fathers, who had themselves not been immune to 
divisiveness, had feared their growth, which they believed would 
stimulate factional strife. But parties soon proved to be necessary 
vehicles for the Nation's political life. 

As they grew, the method of electing the President and Vice 
President as originally set forth at Philadelphia became cumber- 
some and controversial, if not practically unworkable. The 
election of 1796 produced a President and Vice President of 
different parties. In 1800 a tied electoral vote occurred between 
members of the same party, and the House of Representatives was 
forced to choose a President. These two experiences created the 
necessary sentiment to modify the electoral process. The principal 
provision of the 12th amendment required future electors to cast 
separate ballots for the two executives. 

For more than six decades after the ratification of the 12th, no 
further amendments were enacted. Then the Civil War crisis 
created three, the so-called ''national supremacy" amendments, 
which congressional Radical Reconstructionists proposed. The 
13th, sent out to the States in 1864 and ratified in 1865, was the 
first attempt to use the amending process to institute national 
social reform. It followed upon Lincoln's limited and preliminary 
action in the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) to free the slaves. 
Although the amendment declared slavery and involuntary 
servitude (except as punishment for crimes) to be unconstitution- 
al, it did not provide blacks with civil-rights guarantees equal to 
those of whites. 

During the Reconstruction Period, therefore, two more additions 
to the Constitution became the law of the land. Their main 
objectives were to insure the rights of black men to full 
citizenship. Ultimately, however, because of their broad phraseol- 
ogy, the two amendments have come to have significant 
repercussions for all citizens. The 14th, proposed in 1866 and 
ratified 2 years later, decrees that all persons born or naturalized 
in the United States are citizens of the Nation and of the State in 
which they live. The legislation also forbids the States from 
making any laws that abridge the "privileges or immunities of 
citizens of the United States," deprive them of "life, liberty, or 
property, without due process of law," or deny them the "equal 
protection of the laws." 


The amendment also expanded representation in the House of 
Representatives from that contained in the original Constitution 
(the free, essentially white, population plus three-fifths of all 
slaves) to include all persons except untaxed Indians. Another 
provision stated that the representation of States arbitrarily 
denying the vote to adult men would be reduced. The measure also 
barred from Federal officeholding those Confederates who had 
held Federal or State offices before the Civil War, except when 
Congress chose to waive this disqualification; and ruled invalid 
all debts contracted to aid the Confederacy as well as claims for 
compensation covering the loss or emancipation of slaves. 

The most important goal for which the amendment was added 
to the Constitution, the legal equality of blacks, was not fully 
realized until the 24th outlawed the poll tax in 1964. The attempt 
to limit the political participation of ex -Confederate leaders failed. 
In recent years, however, the Supreme Court has often used the 
amendment to achieve fuller State conformance with the Bill of 
Rights. Furthermore, judicial interpretations have broadened the 
meaning of such key phrases as "privileges or immunities," "due 
process," and "equal protection of the laws." Congress has also 
passed new enforcement legislation. 

Despite the legislative efforts of the Radical Republicans, black 
men continued to be denied equal voting rights. In 1869, therefore, 
Congress passed and the next year the States ratified the 15th 
amendment. Attempting to protect the rights of ex-slaves it 
explicitly stated: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote 
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any 
State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." 

Not until 1913 was the Constitution again changed. Prior to that 
time, Congress had only enjoyed the power to levy direct taxes in 
proportion to the populations of the States. During the late 19th 
century, the need for a Federal income tax began to become 
apparent to many people in the country, but the Supreme Court on 
various occasions declared such a tax to be unconstitutional. By 
1909 support for it was strong enough to warrant passage of the 
16th amendment. Many Congressmen who voted affirmatively felt 
the States would never approve the action. Yet, 4 years later, they 
ratified it. The income tax quickly became a principal source of 
Federal revenue and facilitated governmental expansion. 

Later in 1913 the States approved another amendment, which 


Women's suffrage parades, such as this one in Washington, helped pave the way 
for the 19th amendment (1919). 

Congress had sanctioned the previous year. The 17th authorized 
the direct election of Senators by the voters rather than by State 
legislatures, as specified in the Constitution. The original method 
had long been a target of reformers. Numerous times between 1893 
and 1911 the House of Representatives proposed amendments 
calling for popular selection of Senators. The Senate, however, 
apparently concerned among other things about the tenure of its 
Members and resenting the invasion of their prerogatives by the 
lower House, refused to give its stamp of approval to the 
legislation. But, by the latter year, pressure for change had 


become intense, particularly because the popular image of the 
Senate had become that of a millionaires' club divorced from the 
interests of the people. That same year, an Illinois election 
scandal helped turn the tide. Also, many States had by that time 
adopted senatorial preference primaries as an expression of 
popular sentiment to the legislators. 

The highly controversial "prohibition" amendment, the 18th, 
cleared Congress in 1917 and was ratified 2 years hence. It 

* ' • • i % 

Public concern over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, whose 
funeral cortege is shown leaving the Capitol, and the extended sicknesses of 
Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Dwight D. Eisenhower influenced passage of the 
25th amendment (1967). 


prohibited the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicat- 
ing liquors for beverage purposes" and their importation into or 
exportation from the United States. This legislation was the result 
of nearly a century of temperance efforts to eliminate or limit use 
of alcoholic beverages. But unsuccessful enforcement and opposi- 
tion by large elements of the public, particularly in urban areas, 
soon doomed the "noble experiment." In the only instance when 
an amendment has been repealed by another, the 21st, which was 
both proposed and ratified in 1933, voided the 18th. It returned 
control of alcohol consumption to States and local jurisdictions, 
which could choose to remain "dry" if they so preferred. 

The persistence of reformers likewise produced the 19th 
amendment, passed in 1919 and ratified the next year. Equal 
voting rights in Federal and State elections were granted to 
women. Especially after the Civil War, they had begun to improve 
their legal status, and some States in the West had granted them 
the right to vote. During the early years of the 20th century, more 
States extended the privilege. These and other factors, coupled 
with the efforts of suffragists, facilitated adoption of the 
amendment. It marked a major step toward fuller political 
equality for women. 

Congress gave its imprimatur to the so-called "lame duck" 
amendment, the 20th, in 1932 and it became effective the next 
year. Designed mainly to hasten and smooth the post-election 
succession of the President and Congress, it specified that the 
terms of the President and Vice President would begin on January 
20 following the fall elections instead of on March 4 and required 
Congress to convene on January 3, when the terms of all newly 
elected Congressmen were also to begin. Correcting another defect 
in the Constitution was the stipulation that the Vice President- 
elect would succeed to the highest office in the land in the event 
the President-elect died before his inauguration or no President- 
elect had qualified. 

Proposed to the States by Congress in 1947, the 22d amendment 
was ratified in 1951. Aimed in large part at preventing the 
repetition of the unprecedented four terms to which Franklin D. 
Roosevelt had been elected as President, it limited the service of 
Chief Executives to a maximum of the traditional two full terms. 
Vice Presidents succeeding to the office were to be restricted to one 
term if the unexpired portion of that to which they succeeded was 


And. further, that the States whose Legislatures have so ratified 
the said proposed Amendment constitute the requisite three-fourths 
of the whole number of States in the United States. 

NOW. Therefore, be it known that I. Lawson B. Knott. Jr. , 
Administrator of General Services, by virtue and in pursuance of 
Section 106b. Title 1 of the United States Code, do hereby certify 
that the Amendment aforesaid has become valid, to all intents and 
purposes, as a part of the Constitution of the United States. 

I have hereunto set my hand 
and caused the seal of the 
General Services Administration 
to be affixed. 

DONE at the City of Washington 
this "^ 3 ,jfo ay ofj 
in the year of our Lord one 
thousand nine hundred and sixty- 


The foregoing was signed in my presence on this 

,y of ffi^Hai*** 1967 

urn MfcJ 

Last page of General Services Administration proclamation declaring the 25th 
amendment to be in effect. 

longer than 2 years. The incumbent, Harry S Truman, who was 
serving when this amendment was added to the Constitution, was 
exempted from it, though he did not choose to run for a second full 

District of Columbia residents won the right to vote for 
Presidential electors in the 23d amendment, which gained 


congressional approval in 1960 and was ratified the following 
year. It was part of the endeavor to obtain for D.C. residents 
political rights equal to those of citizens of the States. Although 
this step fell short of the "home rule" sought for the District, it 
was a major step toward more extensive political participation by 
its citizens. 

C0N S , - JOHN A.K*c 


• in-eommem0pa"tion'of-the' 


<r) bbks,- Hampton lcars° n - sum 

' - 1; 

Ml' - 

— OF THE — — 


^>>> 'Vr7^_ UHA1RMAN. ..Ill' <&. 



f ' t W lim M»cli* ,# 

J sB2»» 




The 100th anniversary of the Constitution occasioned celebrations across the 
land and such special tributes as a "Centennial March." 


The civil-rights struggle of black people in the 1950's and early 
1960's resulted in the 24th amendment, which was proposed in 
1962 and ratified 2 years later. It outlawed poll taxes as a 
prerequisite for voting in Federal elections. This device had long 
been used in some places to limit political participation, especially 
by blacks. 

The long illnesses of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Dwight D. 
Eisenhower and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 
coupled with the enormous contemporary importance of the 
Presidency, gave rise to the 25th amendment. It was passed by 
Congress in 1965 and ratified in 1967. Steps to be followed in the 
event of Presidential disability were outlined, and a method was 
established for expeditiously filling vacancies in the office of Vice 
President. When there is no Vice President, the President will 
nominate a replacement, who needs only approval by a congres- 
sional majority. In the event of Presidential disability, the Vice 
President will temporarily hold the office of Acting President. 

The 26th amendment, proposed and ratified in 1971, provided 
another extension of the franchise. In recognition of the in- 
creasing contributions of youth to American society, the mini- 
mum voting age in all elections was lowered to at least 18 years. 
Although a few States, in accordance with their discretionary 
rights at the time, had earlier reduced the voting age from 21, this 
constitutional addition made the national franchise uniform in 
terms of minimum age. 

When this volume went to press, another amendment, which 
would ban discrimination based on sex (the "equal rights" 
amendment), had been proposed to the States, in 1972, but all the 
required 38 States had not yet ratified it. 

DESPITE its numerous advantages, the amendment process has 
proven to be less than perfect as a vehicle of change. Although the 
rigorous procedure required to enact amendments has prevented 
hasty and ill-advised action, it has on occasion delayed the 
inauguration of badly needed reforms. The brief and sometimes 
imprecise wording of the amendments, as well as of the 
Constitution itself, has necessitated prolonged and complex 
interpretation by the Supreme Court. The public and various 
governmental organs have on occasion failed to heed or fully 
execute our highest national law. 

"We the People," theme painting and official poster of the Constitution 
Sesquicentennial Celebration, as rendered by Howard Chandler Christy. 


Whatever the flaws in our constitutional system, it enunciates 
our democratic principles and provides a superlative formula and 
instrument of Government, which has established its primacy 
among the efforts of men to govern themselves. Yet the true 
guardian of our sacred charter of liberties is the vigilance of the 

ISart ( Zjtv 

Signers of the Constitution 
Biographical Sketches 

ike the 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional 
Convention, the 39 signers as a whole were a distinguished body of 
men who represented an excellent cross section of 18th-century 
American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of 
means who were dominant in their communities and States, and 
many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one 
had taken part in the Revolution; at least 23 had served in the 
Continental forces, most of them in positions of command. 

The practical political experience of the group was extensive. At 
the time of the Convention, more than four-fifths, or 33 
individuals, were or had been Members of the Continental 
Congress. Mifflin and Gorham had served as President of the 
body. The only ones who lacked congressional experience were: 
Bassett, Blair, Brearly, Broom, Paterson, and Charles Cotesworth 
Pinckney. Six men (Clymer, Franklin, Robert Morris, Read, 
Sherman, and Wilson) had signed the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. Five (Carroll, Dickinson, the two Morrises, and Sherman) 
had affixed their signatures to the Articles of Confederation. But 
only two, Sherman and Robert Morris, underwrote all three of the 
Nation's basic documents. Practically all the 39 individuals 



enjoyed experience in colonial and State government, Dickinson, 
Franklin, Langdon, Livingston, Read, and Rutledge as Governors, 
or State executives, and the majority had held county and local 

Among the signers, the range of occupations was wide, and 
many men simultaneously pursued more than one. Twenty-two 
were lawyers or had benefited from legal training, though not all 
of them relied on the profession for a livelihood. In this category 
were Baldwin, Bassett, Bedford, Blair, Brearly, Dayton, Dickin- 
son, Few, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Johnson, King, Livingston, 
Madison, Gouverneur Morris, Paterson, the two Pinckneys, Read, 
Rutledge, Sherman, and Wilson. Some had become judges. 

At the time of the Convention, 11 individuals were businessmen, 
merchants, or shippers: Blount, Broom, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsi- 
mons, Gilman, Gorham, Langdon, Robert Morris, Sherman, and 
Wilson. Six were major land speculators: Blount, Dayton, 
Fitzsimons, Gorham, Robert Morris, and Wilson. Eleven speculat- 
ed in securities on a large scale: Bedford, Blair, Clymer, Dayton, 
Fitzsimons, Franklin, King, Langdon, Robert Morris, Charles 
Cotesworth Pinckney, and Sherman. Eleven owned or managed 
slave-operated plantations or large farms: Bassett, Blair, Blount, 
Butler, Carroll, Jenifer, the two Pinckneys, Rutledge, Spaight, and 
Washington. Madison also owned slaves. Broom and Few were 
small farmers. 

Nine of the men received a substantial part of their income from 
public office: Baldwin, Bedford, Blair, Brearly, Gilman, Jenifer, 
Livingston, Madison, and Rutledge. Three had retired from active 
economic endeavors: Franklin, McHenry, and Mifflin. Franklin 
and Williamson were scientists, among their array of other 
activities. McHenry and Williamson were physicians, and 
Johnson was an educator-university president. Baldwin had been 
a minister, and Williamson, Madison, and possibly others had 
studied in this field but had never been ordained. 

A few of the signers were rich. Washington and Robert Morris 
ranked among the Nation's wealthiest men. Carroll, Jenifer, and 
Mifflin were also extremely well-to-do. The financial resources of 
the majority of the rest ranged from good to excellent. Among 
those with the most straitened circumstances were Baldwin, Few, 
Brearly, Broom, Madison, Paterson, and Sherman, though they 
all managed to live comfortably. 


A considerable number of the men were born into leading 
families: Blair, Butler, Carroll, Ingersoll, Jenifer, Johnson, 
Livingston, Mifflin, Gouverneur Morris, both Pinckneys, Rutledge, 
and Washington. Others were self-made men who had risen from 
humble beginnings: Few, Franklin, Gorham, Hamilton, and 

Most of the group were natives of the 13 Colonies. Only seven 
were born elsewhere: four (Butler, Fitzsimons, McHenry, and 
Paterson) in Ireland, one (Robert Morris) in England, one 
(Wilson) in Scotland, and one (Hamilton) in the West Indies. But, 
if most of the signers were native-born, many of them had moved 
from one State to another. Reflecting the mobility that has always 
characterized American life, 13 individuals had already lived or 
worked in more than one State or colony. They were: Baldwin, 
Bassett, Bedford, Dickinson, Few, Franklin, Ingersoll, Livingston, 
the two Morrises, Read, Sherman, and Williamson. Others had 
studied or traveled abroad. 

The educational background of the Founding Fathers was 
diverse. Some, Franklin for example, were largely self-taught and 
had received scant formal training. Others had obtained instruc- 
tion from private tutors or at academies. About half of the 
individuals had attended or graduated from college, in the present 
United States or abroad. Some men held advanced and honorary 
degrees. All in all, the signers were a well-educated group. 

Most of them were in the prime of their lives during the 
Convention, and as a whole they were relatively youthful. The 
average age was about 45 years. The youngest, Dayton, at 26, was 
one of three men in their twenties, the others being Spaight and 
Charles Pinckney. Eleven were in the thirties, 13 in the forties, 
and 8 in the fifties. Jenifer, Livingston, and Sherman were in the 
sixties, and Franklin was in his eighties. 

For their era, the signers of the Constitution, like those of the 
Declaration of Independence, were remarkably long-lived. The 
average age at death was almost 67. Johnson reached 92 years; 
and Few, Franklin, Madison, and Williamson lived into their 
eighties. Passing away in their eighth decade were 10 or 11 
(because Fitzsimons was either 69 or 70 at the time of his death); 
and in the sixties, 13 or 14. Seven lived into the fifties, and three 
into the forties— two of the latter (Hamilton and Spaight) dying as 
the result of duels. The first to succumb, in 1790, was Franklin; the 
last, Madison, in 1836. 



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Several signers of the Constitution attended the College of New Jersey (present 
Princeton University), shown here about 1764. Nassau Hall, the main building, is 
on the left; the President's House, on the right. 

Most of the individuals married and fathered children. Sherman 
sired the largest family, numbering 15 by two wives. At least seven 
(Bassett, Brearly, Johnson, Paterson, Charles Cotesworth Pinck- 
ney, Sherman, and Wilson) married more than once. Three 
(Baldwin, Gilman, and Jenifer) were lifetime bachelors. In terms of 
religious affiliation, the men mirrored the overwhelmingly Protes- 
tant character of American religious life at the time and were 
members of various denominations. Only two, Carroll and 
Fitzsimons, were Roman Catholics. 

The later careers of the signers reflected their abilities as well as 
the vagaries of fate. Most were successful, though five of the men 
(Fitzsimons, Gorham, Mifflin, Robert Morris, and Wilson) suffered 
serious financial reverses that left them in or near bankruptcy. 
Two, Blount and Dayton, were involved in possibly treasonable 
activities. Yet, as they had done before the Convention, most of the 
group continued to render outstanding public service, particularly 
to the new Government they had helped to create. 

Washington and Madison became Presidents of the United 


States, and King and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney were 
nominated as candidates for the office. Hamilton, McHenry, and 
Madison attained Cabinet posts. Sixteen men became U.S. 
Senators: Baldwin, Bassett, Blount, Butler, Dayton, Few, Gilman, 
Johnson, King, Langdon, the two Morrises, Paterson, Charles 
Pinckney, Read, and Sherman. Eleven served in the House of 
Representatives: Baldwin, Carroll, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, 
Gilman, Madison, Charles Pinckney, Sherman, Spaight, and 
Williamson. Of these, Dayton served as Speaker. Four men 
(Bassett, Bedford, Brearly, and Few) served as Federal judges, 
and four more (Blair, Paterson, Rutledge, and Wilson) as 
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court; Rutledge also held the 
position of Chief Justice. Four others, King, the two Pinckneys, 
and Gouverneur Morris, undertook important diplomatic missions 
for the Nation. 

Many other persons held important State positions, including a 
large number as Governors (Blount, Franklin, Langdon, Living- 
ston, Mifflin, Paterson, Charles Pinckney, and Spaight) and 
legislators. And most of the signers contributed in many ways to 
the cultural life of their cities, communities, and States. Not 
surprisingly, many of their sons and other descendants were to 
occupy high positions in U.S. political and intellectual life. 

The following biographical sketches are arranged alphabetically 
by last name. Readers interested in signers for a certain State 
should consult the Index under the appropriate State. 


Abraham Baldwin 


Rising from a humble background, 
Baldwin achieved success as minister, 
educator, lawyer, and politician. He 
was a Connecticut Yankee 
transplanted to Georgia who served 
his adopted State in many capacities. 
He helped found the college that was 
the forerunner of the University of 
Georgia and sat in the U.S. House of 
Representatives and the Senate for 
almost two decades. During the 
Convention, he supported the small 
States on the crucial vote in the 
representation clash and sat on the 
committee on postponed matters. 

Baldwin was born at Guilford, Conn., in 1754, the second son of 
a blacksmith who sired 12 children by two wives. Besides 
Abraham, several of the family attained distinction. His sister 
Ruth married the poet and diplomat Joel Barlow, and his half- 
brother Henry attained the position of Justice of the U.S. Supreme 
Court. Their ambitious father went heavily into debt to educate 
his children. 

After attending a local village school, Abraham matriculated at 
Yale, in nearby New Haven. He graduated in 1772. Three years 
later, he became a minister and tutor at the college. He held that 
position until 1779, when he served as a chaplain in the 
Continental Army. Two years later, he declined an offer from his 
alma mater of a professorship of divinity. Instead of resuming his 
ministerial or educational duties after the war, he turned to the 
study of law and in 1783 gained admittance to the bar at Fairfield, 

Within a year, Baldwin moved to Georgia, won legislative 
approval to practice his profession, and obtained a grant of land 
in Wilkes County. In 1785 he sat in the assembly and the 
Continental Congress. Two years hence, his father died and 
Baldwin undertook to pay off his debts and educate, out of his own 
pocket, his half-brothers and half-sisters. 


That same year, Baldwin attended the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, from which he was absent for a few weeks. Although usually 
inconspicuous, he sat on the committee on postponed matters and 
helped resolve the large-small State representation crisis. At first, 
he favored representation in the Senate based upon property 
holdings, but possibly because of his close relationship with the 
Connecticut delegation he later came to fear alienation of the 
small States and changed his mind to representation by State. 

After the Convention, Baldwin returned to the Continental 
Congress (1787-89). He was then elected to the U.S. Congress, 
where he served for 18 years (House of Representatives, 1789-99; 
Senate, 1799-1807). During these years, he came to be a bitter 
opponent of Hamiltonian policies and, unlike most other native 
New Englanders, an ally of Madison and Jefferson and the 
Democratic-Republicans. In the Senate, he presided for a while as 
President pro tern. 

By 1790 Baldwin had taken up residence in Augusta. Beginning 
in the preceding decade, he had begun efforts to advance the 
educational system in Georgia. Appointed with six others in 1784 
to oversee the founding of a State college, he saw his dream come 
true in 1798 when Franklin College was founded. Modeled after 
Yale, it became the nucleus of the University of Georgia. 

Baldwin, who never married, died after a short illness during 
his 53d year in 1807. Still serving in the Senate at the time, he 
was buried in Washington's Rock Creek Cemetery. 







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Richard Bassett 


Bassett was a well-to-do planter and 
lawyer who also enjoyed careers as 
soldier, judge, legislator, and 
Governor. At the Constitutional 
Convention, he played a silent role 
and confined himself to casting votes 
on the issues as they arose. 

Bassett (Basset) was born in Cecil County, Md., in April 1745. 
After his tavern-keeper father deserted his mother, he was reared 
by a relative, Peter Lawson, from whom he later inherited 
Bohemia Manor (Md.) estate. He read for the law at Philadelphia 
and in 1770 received a license to practice in Dover, Del. Prospering 
as a lawyer-planter, he eventually came to own not only Bohemia 
Manor, but also homes in Dover and Wilmington. 

During the Revolution, Bassett captained a troop of Dover 
cavalry militia, and served on the Delaware council of safety. 
Subsequently, he participated in the constitutional convention 
and sat in both the upper and lower houses of the legislature. In 
1786, on behalf of his State, he took part in the Annapolis 

At the U.S. Constitutional Convention the next year, Bassett 
attended diligently but made no speeches, served on no commit- 
tees, and cast no critical votes. Like several other delegates of 
estimable reputation and talent, he allowed others to make the 
major steps. 

Bassett subsequently went on to a bright career in the State and 
Federal governments. In the Delaware ratifying convention, he 
joined in the 30-0 vote for the Constitution. Subsequently, in the 


years 1789-93, he served as a U.S. Senator. In that capacity, he 
voted in favor of the power of the President to remove governmen- 
tal officers and against Hamilton's plan for the Federal assump- 
tion of State debts. 

In 1793 Bassett returned to Delaware. From then until 1799 he 
held the chief justiceship of the court of common pleas. Espousing 
the Federalist cause in the 1790's, he served as a Presidential 
elector, on behalf of John Adams, in 1797. Two years later, 
Bassett was elected as Governor of Delaware and continued in 
that post until 1801. That year, he became one of President 
Adams' "midnight" appointments, as a judge of the U.S. Circuit 
Court. Subsequently, the Jeffersonian Republicans abolished his 
judgeship, and he spent the rest of his life in retirement. 

Twice married, to Ann Ennals and a woman named Bruff, 
Bassett fathered several children. He was a devout Methodist, 
held religious meetings at Bohemia Manor, and financially 
supported the church. He died in 1815 at the age of 70 and is 
interred at the Wilmington and Brandy wine Cemetery, Wilming- 
ton, Del. 

Gunning Bedford, Jr. 


Lawyer-jurist Bedford, one of the most 
outspoken delegates at the 
Convention and a small-State 
spokesman, was a Philadelphian who 
moved to Delaware. He bore arms in 
the War for Independence and served 
as a Delegate to the Continental 
Congress, attorney general of 
Delaware, and Federal judge. 


Born in 1747 at Philadelphia, Bedford was reared there. The 
fifth of seven children, he was descended from a distinguished 
family that originally settled in Jamestown, Va. Usually he 
referred to himself as Gunning Bedford, Jr., to avoid confusion 
with his cousin and contemporary Delaware statesman and 
soldier, Col. Gunning Bedford. 

In 1771 signer Bedford graduated with honors from the College 
of New Jersey (later Princeton), where he was a roommate of 
James Madison. Apparently while still in school, Bedford wed 
Jane B. Parker, who was to bear at least one daughter. After 
reading law with Joseph Read in Philadelphia, Bedford won 
admittance to the bar and set up a practice. Subsequently he 
moved to Dover and then to Wilmington. He apparently served in 
the Continental Army, possibly as an aide to General Washing- 

Following the war, Bedford figured prominently in the politics of 
his State and Nation. He sat in the legislature, on the State council, 
and in the Continental Congress (1783-85). In the latter year, he 
was chosen as a delegate to the Annapolis Convention, but for 
some reason did not attend. From 1784 to 1789 he was attorney 
general of Delaware. 

Bedford numbered among the more active members of the 
Constitutional Convention and he missed few sessions. A large and 
forceful man, he spoke on several occasions and was a member of 
the committee that drafted the Great Compromise. An ardent 
small-State advocate, he attacked the pretensions of the large 
States over the small and warned that the latter might be forced to 
seek foreign alliances unless their interests were accommodated. 
He attended the Delaware ratifying convention. 

For another 2 years, Bedford continued as Delaware's attorney 
general. In 1789 Washington designated him as a Federal District 
Judge for his State, an office he was to occupy for the rest of his life. 
His only other ventures into national politics came in 1789 and 
1793, as a Federalist Presidential elector. In the main, however, he 
spent his later years in judicial pursuits, in aiding Wilmington 
Academy, in fostering abolitionism, and in enjoying his Lombardy 
Hall farm. 

Bedford died at the age of 65 in 1812, and was buried in the First 
Presbyterian Churchyard in Wilmington. Later, when the cemetery 
was abandoned, his body was transferred to the Masonic Home, on 
the Lancaster Turnpike in Christiana Hundred, Del. 


John Blair 


Blair, a firm supporter of 
independence and the Constitution, 
was a member of a leading Virginia 
family who gained more renown as a 
lawyer-jurist than as a politician. 
President Washington appointed him 
as one of the original Justices of the 
U.S. Supreme Court. 

Scion of a prominent Virginia family, Blair was born at 
Williamsburg in 1732. He was the son of John Blair, a colonial 
official and nephew of James Blair, founder and first president of 
the College of William and Mary. Signer Blair graduated from 
that institution and studied law at London's Middle Temple. 
Thereafter, he practiced at Williamsburg. In the years 1766-70 he 
sat in the Virginia House of Burgesses as the representative of 
William and Mary. From 1770 to 1775 he held the position of clerk 
of the colony's council. 

An active patriot, Blair signed the Virginia Association of June 
22, 1770, which pledged to abandon importation of British goods 
until the Townshend Duties were repealed. He also underwrote the 
Association of May 27, 1774, calling for a meeting of the Colonies 
in a Continental Congress and supporting the Bostonians; and 
took part in the Virginia constitutional convention (1776), at which 
he sat on the committee that framed a declaration of rights as well 
as the plan for a new government. He next served on the Privy 
Council (1776-78). In the latter year, the legislature elected him as 
a judge of the General Court and he soon took over the chief 
justiceship. In 1780 he won election to Virginia's high chancery 
court, where his colleague was George Wythe. 

Blair attended the Constitutional Convention religiously, but 


never spoke or served on a committee. On the other hand, he 
usually sided with the position of the Virginia delegation. And, in 
the Commonwealth ratifying convention, Blair helped win 
backing for the new framework of Government. 

In 1789 Washington named Blair as an Associate Justice of the 
U.S. Supreme Court, where he helped decide many important 
cases. Resigning that post in 1796, he spent his remaining years 
in Williamsburg. A widower, his wife (born Jean Balfour) having 
died in 1792, he lived quietly until he succumbed in 1800. He was 
68 years old. His tomb is in the graveyard of Bruton Parish 

William Blount 


Planter and land speculator Blount, 
who played an insignificant part at the 
Constitutional Convention, carved out 
a career in North Carolina and 
Tennessee as well as in national 
politics. It was marred, however, when 
he earned the dubious distinction of 
being the first man to be expelled 
from the U.S. Senate. 

William Blount was the great-grandson of Thomas Blount, who 
came from England to Virginia soon after 1660 and settled on a 
North Carolina plantation. William, the eldest in a large family, 
was born in 1749 while his mother was visiting his grandfather's 
Rosefield estate, on the site of present Windsor near Pamlico 
Sound. The youth apparently received a good education. 

Shortly after the War for Independence began, in 1776, Blount 
enlisted as a paymaster in the North Carolina forces. Two years 
later, he wed Mary Grainger (Granger); of their six children who 


reached adulthood, one son also became prominent in Tennessee 

Blount spent most of the remainder of his life in public office. He 
sat in the lower house of the North Carolina legislature (1780-84), 
including service as speaker, as well as in the upper (1788-90). In 
addition, he took part in national politics, serving in the 
Continental Congress in 1782-83 and 1786-87. 

Appointed as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention at the 
age of 38, Blount was absent for more than a month because he 
chose to attend the Continental Congress on behalf of his State, 
said almost nothing in the debates, and signed the Constitution 
reluctantly — only, he said, to make it "the unanimous act of the 
States in Convention." Nonetheless, he favored his State's 
ratification of the completed document. 

Blount hoped to be elected to the First U.S. Senate. When he 
failed to achieve that end, in 1790 he pushed westward beyond the 
Appalachians, where he held speculative land interests and had 
represented North Carolina in dealings with the Indians. He 
settled in what became Tennessee, to which he devoted the rest of 
his life. He resided first at Rocky Mount, a cabin near present 
Johnson City, and in 1792 built a mansion in Knoxville. 

Meantime, 2 years earlier, Washington had appointed Blount as 
Governor for the Territory South of the River Ohio (which 
included Tennessee) and also as Superintendent of Indian Affairs 
for the Southern Department, in which positions he increased his 
popularity with the frontiersmen. In 1796 he presided over the 
constitutional convention that transformed part of the Territory 
into the State of Tennessee. He was elected as one of its first U.S. 
Senators (1796-97). 

During this period, Blount's affairs took a sharp turn for the 
worse. In 1797 his speculations in western lands led him into 
serious financial difficulties. That same year, he also apparently 
concocted a plan involving use of Indians, frontiersmen, and 
British naval forces to conquer for Britain the Spanish provinces 
of Florida and Louisiana. A letter he wrote alluding to the plan 
fell into the hands of President Adams, who turned it over to the 
Senate on July 3, 1797. Five days later, that body voted 2C to 1 to 
expel Blount. The House impeached him, but the Senate dropped 
the charges in 1799 on the grounds that no further action could be 
taken beyond his dismissal. 


The episode did not hamper Blount's career in Tennessee. In 
1798 he was elected to the senate and rose to the speakership. He 
died 2 years later at Knoxville in his early fifties. He is buried 
there in the cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church. 

David Br early 


Although an advocate of the interests 
of the small States at the Convention, 
where he chaired the committee on 
postponed matters, lawyer-jurist 
Brearly was a reasonable man who 
showed a willingness to compromise. 
He had been a fervent Revolutionary 
patriot, and during the war served as 
an officer in the New Jersey militia. 

Brearly (Brearley) was descended from a Yorkshire, England, 
family, one of whose members migrated to New Jersey around 
1680. Signer Brearly was born in 1745 at Spring Grove near 
Trenton, was reared in the area, and attended but did not 
graduate from the nearby College of New Jersey (later Princeton). 
He chose law as a career and originally practiced at Allentown, 
N.J. About 1767 he married Elizabeth Mullen. 

Brearly avidly backed the Revolutionary cause. The British 
apprehended him for high treason, but a group of patriots freed 
him. In 1776 he took part in the convention that drew up the State 
constitution. During the War for Independence, he rose from a 
captain to a colonel in the New Jersey militia. 

In 1779 Brearly was elected as chief justice of the New Jersey 
supreme court, a position he held until 1789. He presided over the 


precedent-setting case of Holmes v. Walton. His decision, rendered 
in 1780, represented an early expression of the principle of judicial 
review. The next year, the College of New Jersey bestowed an 
honorary M.A. degree on him. 

Brearly was 42 years of age when he participated in the 
Constitutional Convention. Although he did not rank among the 
leaders, he attended the sessions regularly. A follower of Paterson, 
who introduced the New Jersey Plan, Brearly opposed proportion- 
al representation of the States and favored one vote for each of 
them in Congress. He also chaired the committee on postponed 

Brearly's subsequent career was short, for he had only 3 years 
to live. He presided at the New Jersey convention that ratified the 
Constitution in 1788, and served as a Presidential elector in 1789. 
That same year, President Washington appointed him as a 
Federal District Judge and he served in that capacity until his 

When free from his judicial duties, Brearly devoted much energy 
to lodge and church affairs. He was one of the leading members of 
the Masonic Order in New Jersey, as well as State vice president 
of the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of ex- 
Revolutionary War officers. In addition, he served as a delegate to 
the Episcopal General Conference (1786), and helped write the 
church's prayer book. In 1783, following the death of his first wife, 
he had married Elizabeth Higbee. 

Brearly died in Trenton at the age of 45 in 1790. He was buried 
there at St. Michael's Episcopal Church. 


Jacob Broom 


A well-to-do businessman and civic 

leader, Broom spent most of his life in 

the service of his hometown, ... ^ . A ., . , . 

Wilmington, and he was one of the ( No Portrait Available) 

more obscure signers. His most 
important political activity was 
attendance at the Constitutional 

Broom first saw the light of life in 1752 at Wilmington, Del., the 
eldest son of a blacksmith who prospered in farming. The youth 
was educated at home and probably at the local Old Academy. 
Although he followed his father into farming and also studied 
surveying, he was to make his career primarily in mercantile 
pursuits, including shipping and the import trade, and in real 
estate. In 1773 he married Rachel Pierce, who bore eight children. 

Broom was not a distinguished patriot. His only recorded 
service was the preparation of maps for George Washington prior 
to the Battle of Brandywine, Pa. In 1776, at 24 years of age, 
Broom became assistant burgess of Wilmington. Over the next 
several decades, he held that office six times and that of chief 
burgess four times, as well as those of borough assessor, president 
of the city "street regulators," and justice of the peace for New 
Castle County. 

Broom sat in the State legislature in the years 1784-86 and 
1788, during which time he was chosen as a delegate to the 
Annapolis Convention, but he did not attend. At the Constitution- 
al Convention, he never missed a session and spoke on several 
occasions, but his role was only a minor one. 

After the Convention, Broom returned to Wilmington, where in 
1795 he erected a home near the Brandywine River on the 
outskirts of the city. He was its first postmaster (1790-92) and 
continued to hold various local offices and to participate in a 
variety of economic endeavors. For many years, he chaired the 
board of directors of Wilmington's Delaware Bank. He also 
operated a cotton mill, as well as a machine shop that produced 
and repaired mill machinery. He was involved, too, in an 
unsuccessful scheme to mine bog iron ore. A further interest was 
internal improvements: toll roads, canals, and bridges. 

Broom also found time for philanthropic and religious activities. 


He served on the board of trustees of the College of Wilmington 
and as a lay leader at Old Swedes Church. He died at the age of 58 
in 1810 while in Philadelphia on business and was buried there at 
Christ Church Burial Ground. 

Pierce Butler 


One of the four signers born in 
Ireland, Butler was a British military 
officer turned South Carolina planter. 
He played a substantial role at the 
Constitutional Convention and 
afterward gained distinction in the 
U.S. Senate. 

One of the most aristocratic delegates at the Convention, Butler 
was born in 1744 in County Carlow, Ireland. His father was Sir 
Richard Butler, Member of Parliament and a baronet. 

Like so many younger sons of the British aristocracy who could 
not inherit, their fathers' estates because of primogeniture, Butler 
pursued a military career. He became a major in His Majesty's 
29th Regiment and during the colonial unrest was posted to 
Boston in 1768 to quell disturbances there. In 1771 he married 
Mary Middleton, daughter of a wealthy South Carolinian, and 
before long resigned his commission to take up a planter's life in 
the Charleston area. The couple was to have at least one daughter. 

When the Revolution broke out, Butler took up the Whig cause. 
He was elected to the assembly in 1778, and the next year served 
as adjutant general in the South Carolina militia. While in the 
legislature through most of the 1780's, for some reason he took 
over leadership of the democratic upcountry faction in the State 
and refused to support his own planter group. The War for 


Independence cost him much of his property, and his finances 
were so precarious for a time that he was forced to travel to 
Amsterdam to seek a personal loan. In 1786 the assembly 
appointed him to a commission charged with settling a State 
boundary dispute. 

The next year, Butler won election to both the Continental 
Congress (1787-88) and the Constitutional Convention. In the 
latter assembly, he was an outspoken nationalist who attended 
practically every session, and was a key spokesman for the 
Madison-Wilson caucus. Butler also supported the interests of 
southern slaveholders. He served on the committee on postponed 

On Butler's return to South Carolina he defended the Constitu- 
tion, but did not participate in the ratifying convention. Service in 
the U.S. Senate (1789-96) followed. Although nominally a 
Federalist, he often crossed party lines. He supported Hamilton's 
fiscal program, but opposed Jay's Treaty and Federalist judiciary 
and tariff measures. 

Out of the Senate and back in South Carolina from 1797 to 1802, 
Butler was considered for but did not attain the governorship. He 
sat briefly in the Senate again in 1803-4 to fill out an unexpired 
term, and once again demonstrated party independence. But, for 
the most part, his later career was spent as a wealthy planter. In 
his last years, he moved to Philadelphia, apparently to be near a 
daughter who had married a local physician. 

Butler died there in 1822 at the age of 77 and was buried in the 
yard of Christ Church. 


Daniel Carroll 


Carroll, a distinguished Maryland 
planter-aristocrat, was one of two 
Roman Catholic signers of the 
Constitution. He served on the 
Convention's committee on 
postponed matters and took a 
moderate nationalist stance. His public 
career included service in the 
Continental Congress, the Maryland 
senate, and the U.S. House of 
Representatives. He was also one of 
the first commissioners of the District 
of Columbia. 

Daniel Carroll was a member of one collateral branch of a 
prominent Maryland family of Irish descent. The other was led by 
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of 
Independence. Daniel's older brother was John Carroll, the first 
Roman Catholic bishop in the United States. 

Daniel was born in 1730 at Upper Marlboro, Md. Befitting the 
son of a wealthy Roman Catholic family, he studied for 6 years 
(1742-48) under Jesuits at St. Omer's in Flanders. Then, after a 
tour of Europe, he sailed home and soon married Eleanor Carroll, 
apparently a first cousin of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Not 
much is known about the next two decades of his life except that 
he only reluctantly backed the War for Independence and 
remained out of the public eye. No doubt he lived the life of a 
gentleman planter. 

In 1781 Carroll entered the political arena. Elected to the 
Continental Congress that year (1781-84), he carried to Philadel- 
phia the news that Maryland was at last ready to accede to the 
Articles of Confederation, to which he soon penned his name. 
During the decade, he also began a tour in the Maryland senate 
that was to span his lifetime and helped George Washington 
promote the Patowmack Company, a scheme to canalize the 
Potomac River so as to provide a transportation link between the 
East and the trans-Appalachian West. 


Carroll did not arrive at the Constitutional Convention until 
July 9, but thereafter he attended quite regularly. He spoke about 
20 times during the debates, and served on the committee on 
postponed matters. Returning to Maryland after the Convention, 
he campaigned for ratification of the Constitution, but was not a 
delegate to the State convention. 

In 1789 Carroll won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, 
where he voted for locating the National Capitol on the banks of 
the Potomac and for Hamilton's program for the Federal 
assumption of State debts. In 1791 George Washington named his 
friend Carroll as one of three commissioners to survey and define 
the District of Columbia, where Carroll owned much land. Ill 
health caused him to resign this post 4 years later, and the next 
year at the age of 65 he died at his home near Rock Creek in the 
present village of Forest Glen, Md. He was buried there in St. 
John's Catholic Cemetery. 

George Clymer 


Clymer, a leading Philadelphia 
merchant, rendered long years of 
service to his city, State, and Nation. 
He signed the Declaration of 
Independence as well as the 
Constitution, and applied his 
commercial acumen to the financial 
problems of the Colonies and the 

Clymer was orphaned in 1740, only a year after his birth in 
Philadelphia. A wealthy uncle reared and informally educated 
him and advanced him from clerk to full-fledged partner in his 
mercantile firm, which on his death he bequeathed to his ward. 
Later, Clymer merged operations with the Merediths, prominent 
businessmen, and cemented the relationship by marrying his 
senior partner's daughter, Elizabeth, in 1765. 


Motivated at last partly by the impact of British economic 
restrictions on his business, Clymer early adopted the Revolution- 
ary cause and was one of the first to recommend independence. He 
attended patriotic meetings, served on the Pennsylvania council 
of safety, and in 1773 headed a committee that forced the 
resignation of Philadelphia tea consignees appointed by Britain 
under the Tea Act. Inevitably, in light of his economic back- 
ground, he channeled his energies into financial matters. In 1775- 
76 he acted as one of the first two Continental treasurers, even 
personally underwriting the war by exchanging all his own specie 
for Continental currency. 

In the Continental Congress (1776-77 and 1780-82) the quiet 
and unassuming Clymer rarely spoke in debate but made his 
mark in committee efforts, especially those pertaining to com- 
merce, finance, and military affairs. During and between his two 
tours, he also served on a series of commissions that conducted 
important field investigations. In December 1776, when Congress 
fled from Philadelphia to Baltimore, he and George Walton and 
Robert Morris remained behind to carry on congressional 
business. Within a year, after their victory at the Battle of 
Brandy wine, Pa. (September 11, 1777), British troops advancing 
on Philadelphia detoured for the purpose of vandalizing Clymer's 
home in Chester County about 25 miles outside the city, while his 
wife and children hid nearby in the woods. 

After a brief retirement following his last tour in the Continen- 
tal Congress, Clymer was reelected in the years 1784-88 to the 
Pennsylvania legislature, where he had also served part time in 
1780-82 while still in Congress. As a State legislator, he 
advocated a bicameral legislature and reform of the penal code 
and opposed capital punishment. At the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, where he rarely missed a meeting, he spoke seldom but 
effectively and played a modest role in shaping the final 

The next phase of Clymer's career consisted of service as a U.S. 
Representative in the First Congress (1789-91), followed by 
appointment as collector of excise taxes on alcoholic beverages in 
Pennsylvania (1791-94). In 1795-96 he sat on a Presidential 
commission that negotiated a treaty with the Cherokee and Creek 
Indians in Georgia. 

During his retirement, Clymer advanced various community 
projects, including the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agri- 
culture and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and 


served as the first president of the Philadelphia Bank. At the age of 
73, in 1813, he died at Summerseat, an estate a few miles outside 
Philadelphia at Morrisville that he had purchased and moved to in 
1806. His grave is in the Friends Meeting House Cemetery at 
Trenton, N.J. 


mm.::. ^ jg 



Jonathan Dayton 


Dayton, youngest of the signers at 26 
years of age, lived a busy and 
adventurous life. A lawyer, land 
speculator, and Revolutionary 
soldier, his ambition was unbounded. 
He held a variety of political offices, 
including seats in the U.S. House and 
Senate. He also supported Aaron 
Burr's ill-fated and murky scheme of 
1806 to carve out some sort of 
empire in the Southwest. 

Dayton was born at Elizabethtown (present Elizabeth), N.J., in 
1760. His father was a storekeeper who was also active in local 
and State politics. The youth obtained a good education, 
graduating from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) in 
1776. He immediately entered the Continental Army and saw 
extensive action. Achieving the rank of captain by the age of 19 
and serving under his father, Gen. Elias Dayton, and the Marquis 
de Lafayette, he was a prisoner of the British for a time, and 
participated in the Battle of Yorktown, Va. 

After the war, Dayton returned home, studied law, and 
established a practice. During the 1780's, he divided his time 
between land speculation, legal practice, and politics. He sat in 
the assembly in 1786-87. In the latter year, he was chosen as a 
delegate to the Constitutional Convention after the leaders of his 
political faction, his father and his patron, Abraham Clark, 
declined to attend. Dayton did not arrive at Philadelphia until 
June 21, but thereafter faithfully took part in the proceedings. He 


spoke with moderate frequency during the debates and, though 
objecting to some provisions of the Constitution, signed it. 

After sitting in the Continental Congress in 1788, Dayton 
became a foremost Federalist legislator in the new Government. 
Although elected as a Representative, he did not serve in the First 
Congress in 1789, preferring instead to become a member of the 
New Jersey council and speaker of the State assembly. In 1791, 
however, he entered the U.S. House of Representatives (1791-99), 
becoming Speaker in the Fourth and Fifth Congresses. During 
this period, he backed Hamilton's fiscal program, suppression of 
the Whisky Rebellion, Jay's Treaty, and a host of other Federalist 

On the personal side, in 1795 Dayton purchased Boxwood Hall 
as his home in Elizabethtown and resided there until his death. 
He was elevated to the U.S. Senate (1799-1805). He supported the 
Louisiana Purchase (1803) and, in conformance with his Federal- 
ist views, opposed the repeal of the Judiciary Act of 1801. 

In 1806 illness prevented Dayton from accompanying Aaron 
Burr's abortive expedition to the Southwest, where the latter 
apparently intended to conquer Spanish lands and create an 
empire. Subsequently indicted for treason, Dayton was not 
prosecuted, but could not salvage his national political career. He 
remained popular in New Jersey, however, continuing to hold local 
offices and sitting in the assembly (1814-15). 

In 1824 the 63-year-old Dayton hosted Lafayette during his 
triumphal tour of the United States, and his death at Elizabeth 
later that year may have been hastened by the exertion and 
excitement. He was laid to rest at St. John's Episcopal Church in 
his hometown. Because he owned 250,000 acres of Ohio land 
between the Big and Little Miami Rivers in the vicinity of the site 
of Dayton, the city was named after him— his major monument. He 
had married Susan Williamson, but the date of their wedding is 
unknown. They had two daughters. 


John Dickinson 


An outstanding conservative patriot 
and sage, the aristocratic Dickinson 
was respected by friend and enemy 
alike for the brilliance of his mind 
and the depth of his philosophy. And 
he made major contributions to 
Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the 
Nation. The only "signer" who did not 
actually pen his name to the 
Constitution, because illness caused 
his early departure from the 
Convention, he authorized a fellow 
delegate to do so on his behalf. 
Nevertheless, he served on the 
committee on postponed matters and 
helped arrange the Great 

Dickinson, "Penman of the Revolution," was born in 1732 at 
Crosiadore estate, near the village of Trappe in Talbot County, 
Md. He was the second son of prosperous farmer Samuel and 
Mary (Cadwalader) Dickinson, his second wife. In 1740 the family 
moved to Kent County near Dover, Del., where private tutors 
educated the youth. In 1750 he began to study law with John 
Moland in Philadelphia. In 1753 Dickinson went to England to 
continue his studies at London's Middle Temple. Four years later, 
he headed back to Philadelphia and became a prominent lawyer 
there. In 1770 he married Mary Norris, daughter of a wealthy 
merchant. The couple was to have at least one daughter. 

By that time, Dickinson's superior education and talents had 
propelled him into politics. In 1760 he had served in the assembly 
of the Three Lower Counties (Delaware), where he held the 
speakership. Combining his Pennsylvania and Delaware careers 
in 1762, he won a seat as a Philadelphia member in the 
Pennsylvania assembly and sat there again in 1764. He became 
the leader of the conservative side in the colony's political battles. 
His defense of the Proprietary Governor against the faction led by 
Benjamin Franklin hurt his popularity, but earned him respect for 
his integrity. Nevertheless, as an immediate consequence, he lost 
his legislative seat in 1764. 


Meantime, the struggle between the Colonies and the mother 
country had waxed strong and Dickinson had emerged in the 
forefront of Revolutionary thinkers. In the debates over the Stamp 
Act (1765), he played a key part. That year, he authored The Late 
Regulations Respecting the British Colonies . . . Considered, an 
influential pamphlet that urged Americans to seek repeal of the 
act by pressuring British merchants. Accordingly, the Pennsylva- 
nia legislature appointed him as a delegate to the Stamp Act 
Congress, whose resolutions he drafted. 

In 1767-68 Dickinson wrote a series of newspaper articles in the 
Pennsylvania Chronicle that came to be known collectively as 
Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania .... They attacked 
British policy and, though recognizing the feasibility of reconcilia- 
tion, suggested that force might be the ultimate solution. So 
popular were the Letters in the Colonies that Dickinson received 
an honorary LL.D. from the College of New Jersey (later 
Princeton) and public thanks from a meeting in Boston. In 1768, 
responding to the Townshend Duties, he championed rigorous 
colonial resistance in the form of nonimportation and nonexporta- 
tion agreements. 

In 1771, back in the Pennsylvania legislature, Dickinson drafted 
a petition to the King that was unanimously approved. Because of 
his continued opposition to the use of force, however, by 1774 he 
had lost much of his popularity. Particularly resenting the tactics 
of New England leaders, that year he refused to support aid 
requested by Boston in the wake of the Intolerable Acts, though he 
sympathized with the city's plight. Reluctantly, Dickinson was 
drawn into the Revolutionary fray. In 1774 he chaired the 
Philadelphia committee of correspondence and briefly sat in the 
First Continental Congress, representing Pennsylvania. 

Throughout 1775, though supporting the Whig cause, Dickinson 
continued to work for peace. He drew up petitions asking the King 
for redress of grievances. At the same time, he chaired a 
Philadelphia committee of safety and defense and held a colonelcy 
in the first battalion recruited in Philadelphia to defend the city. 

After Lexington and Concord, Dickinson continued to hope for a 
peaceful solution. In the Second Continental Congress (1775-76), 
still a representative of Pennsylvania, he drew up the Declaration 
of the Causes of Taking Up Arms. In the Pennsylvania assembly, 
he drafted an authorization to send Delegates to Congress in 1776. 


It directed them to seek redress of grievances, but ordered them to 
oppose separation of the Colonies from Britain. 

By that time, Dickinson's moderate position had left him in the 
minority. In Congress he voted against the Declaration of 
Independence (1776) and refused to sign it. Nevertheless, he then 
became one of only two congressional Members (with Thomas 
McKean) at the time who entered the military, but when he was not 
reelected he resigned his brigadier general's commission and 
withdrew to his estate in Delaware. Later in 1776, though reelected 
to Congress by his new constituency, he declined to serve, and also 
resigned from the Pennsylvania assembly. He may have taken part 
in the Battle of Brandywine, Pa. (September 11, 1777), as a private 
but otherwise saw no further military action. 

Dickinson came out of retirement to take a seat in the 
Continental Congress (1779-80), where he signed the Articles of 
Confederation; earlier he had headed the committee that had 
drafted them. In 1781 he became president of Delaware's Supreme 
Executive Council. Shortly thereafter, he moved back to Philadel- 
phia. There, he became president of Pennsylvania (1782-85). In 
1786, representing Delaware, he attended and chaired the Annap- 
olis Convention. 

The next year, Delaware sent Dickinson to the Constitutional 
Convention. He missed a number of sessions and left early 
because of illness, but he made worthwhile contributions, in- 
cluding service on the committee on postponed matters. Although 
he resented the forcefulness of Madison and the other national- 
ists, he helped engineer the Great Compromise and wrote public 
letters supporting constitutional ratification. Because of his 
premature exit from the Convention, he did not actually sign the 
Constitution, but authorized his friend and fellow-delegate George 
Read to do so for him. 

Dickinson lived for two decades more, but held no public offices. 
Instead, he devoted himself to writing on politics, and in 1801 
published two volumes of his collected works. He died at 
Wilmington in 1808 at the age of 75 and was entombed in the 
Friends Burial Ground. 


William Few 


Few, one of the lesser lights in the 
Convention, was a self-made man. He 
began life as the son of a poor farmer 
and ended it as a renowned and 
wealthy politician, philanthropist, 
lawyer-jurist, and bank president. He 
served in the U.S. Senate during the 
years 1789 to 1793. Like several other 
signers, he took part in the affairs of 
more than one State, Georgia and 
New York. 

Few was born in 1748. His father's family had emigrated from 
England to Pennsylvania in the 1680's, but the father had 
subsequently moved to Maryland, where he married and settled 
on a farm near Baltimore. William was born there. He encoun- 
tered much hardship and received minimal schooling. When he 
was 10 years of age, his father, seeking better opportunity, moved 
his brood to North Carolina. 

In 1771 William, his father, and a brother associated themselves 
with the "Regulators," a group of frontiersmen who opposed the 
Royal Governor. As a result, the brother was hanged, the Few 
family farm was destroyed, and the father was forced to move 
once again, this time to Georgia. William remained behind, 
helping to settle his father's affairs, until 1776 when he joined his 
family near Wrightsboro, Ga. About this time, he won admittance 
to the bar, based on earlier informal study, and set up practice in 

When the War for Independence began, William enthusiastical- 
ly alined himself with the Whig cause. Although largely self- 
educated, he soon proved his capacity for leadership and won a 
lieutenant-colonelcy in the dragoons. In addition, he entered 
politics. He was elected to the Georgia provincial congress of 1776, 
and during the war twice served in the assembly, in 1777 and 


1779. During the same period, he also sat on the State Executive 
Council, besides holding the positions of surveyor-general and 
Indian commissioner. He also served in the Continental Congress 
(1780-88), during which time he was reelected to the Georgia 
assembly (1783). 

Four years later, Few was appointed as one of six State 
delegates to the Constitutional Convention, two of whom never 
attended and two others of whom did not stay for the duration. 
Few himself missed large segments of the proceedings, being 
absent during all of July and part of August because of 
congressional service, and never made a speech. Nonetheless, he 
contributed nationalist votes at critical times. Furthermore, as a 
Delegate to the last sessions of the Continental Congress, he 
helped steer the Constitution past its first obstacle, approval by 
Congress. And he attended the State ratifying convention. 

Few became one of his State's first U.S. Senators (1789-93). 
When his term ended, he headed back home and served again in 
the assembly. In 1796 he received an appointment as a Federal 
judge for the Georgia circuit. At 52 years of age in 1799, for some 
reason he resigned his judgeship and moved to New York City. 

Few's career continued to blossom. He served 4 years in the 
legislature (1802-5) and then as inspector of prisons (1802-10), 
alderman (1813-14), and U.S. commissioner of loans (1804). From 
1804 to 1814 he held a directorship at the Manhattan Bank, and 
later the presidency of City Bank. A devout Methodist, he also 
donated generously to philanthropic causes. 

When Few died in 1828 at the age of 80 in Fishkill-on-the- 
Hudson (present Beacon), he was survived by his wife (born 
Catherine Nicholson) and three daughters. Originally buried in 
the yard of the local Reformed Dutch Church, his body was later 
reinterred at St. Paul's Church, Augusta, Ga. 


Thomas Fitzsimons 


Fitzsimons, one of several foreign- 
born signers and one of two Roman 
Catholics, was a fervent Revolutionary 
and later a zealous supporter of the 
Federalist Party. His career also 
embraced business, where he 
achieved his greatest success and 

Fitzsimons (FitzSimons; Fitzsimmons) was born in Ireland in 
1741. Coming to America about 1760, he pursued a mercantile 
career in Philadelphia. The next year, he married Catherine 
Meade, the daughter of a prominent local merchant, Robert 
Meade, and not long afterward went into business with one of his 
brothers-in-law. The firm of George Meade and Company soon 
became one of the leading commercial houses in the city and 
specialized in the West India trade. 

When the Revolution erupted, Fitzsimons enthusiastically 
endorsed the Whig position. During the war, he commanded a 
company of militia (1776-77). He also sat on the Philadelphia 
committee of correspondence, council of safety, and Navy Board. 
His firm provided supplies and "fire" ships to the military forces 
and, toward the end of the war, donated £5,000 to the Continental 

In 1782-83 Fitzsimons entered politics as a Delegate to the 
Continental Congress. In the latter year, he became a member of 
the Pennsylvania council of censors, and served as a legislator in 
1786-89. His attendance at the Constitutional Convention was 
regular, but he did not make any outstanding contributions to the 
proceedings. He was, however, a strong nationalist. 

After the Convention, Fitzsimons continued to demonstrate his 


nationalistic proclivities as a three-term U.S. Representative 
(1789-95). He allied himself closely with the program of Hamilton 
and the emerging Federalist Party. Once again demonstrating his 
commercial orientation, he advocated a protective tariff and 
retirement of the national debt. 

Fitzsimons spent most of the remainder of his life in private 
business, though he retained an interest in public affairs. His 
views remained essentially Federalist. During the maritime 
difficulties in the late 1790's, he urged retaliation against British 
and French interference with American shipping. In the first 
decade of the 19th century, he vigorously opposed Jefferson's 
Embargo of 1807-9. In 1810, again clashing with the Jefferson- 
ians, he championed the recharter of the First United States 

But Fitzsimons' prominence stemmed from his business 
leadership. In 1781 he had been one of the founders of the Bank of 
North America. He also helped organize and held a directorship in 
the Insurance Company of North America, and several times 
acted as president of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. His 
financial affairs, like those somewhat earlier of his associate and 
fellow-signer Robert Morris, took a disastrous turn in 1805. He 
later regained some of his affluence, but his reputation suffered. 

Despite these troubles, Fitzsimons never ceased his philan- 
thropy. He was an outstanding supporter of Philadelphia's St. 
Augustine's Roman Catholic Church. He also strived to improve 
public education in the Commonwealth and served as trustee of 
the University of Pennsylvania. 

Fitzsimons died at Philadelphia in 1811 after seven decades of 
life. His tomb is there in the graveyard at St. Mary's Roman 
Catholic Church, which is in present Independence National 
Historical Park. 


Benjamin Franklin 


Franklin, elder statesman of the 
Revolution and oldest signer of both 
the Declaration of Independence and 
the Constitution, sat on the 
committee that drafted the 
Declaration, attended the 
Constitutional Convention, and 
distinguished himself as a diplomat. 
But he was a self-made man and self- 
educated intellectual colossus whose 
interests far transcended politics. He 
won international renown as a printer- 
publisher, author, philosopher, 
scientist, inventor, and philanthropist. 
On both sides of the Atlantic, he 
mingled with the social elite, whom 
he impressed with his sagacity, wit, 
and zest for life. 

Franklin was born in 1706 at Boston. He was the tenth son of a 
soap- and candle-maker. He received some formal education, but 
was principally self-taught. After serving an apprenticeship to his 
father between the ages of 10 and 12, he went to work for his half- 
brother James, a printer. In 1721 the latter founded the New 
England Courant, the fourth newspaper in the Colonies. Benja- 
min secretly contributed to it 14 essays, his first published writings. 

In 1723, because of dissension with his half-brother, Franklin 
moved to Philadelphia, where he obtained employment as a 
printer. He spent only a year there, and then sailed to London for 
2 more years. Back in Philadelphia, he rose rapidly in the printing 
industry. He published The Pennsylvania Gazette (1730-48), 
which had been founded by another man in 1728, but his most 
successful literary venture was the annual Poor Richard's 
Almanac (1733-58). It won a popularity in the Colonies second 
only to the Bible, and its fame eventually spread to Europe. 

Meantime, in 1730 Franklin had taken a common-law wife, 
Deborah Read, who was to bear him a son and daughter, as was 
also apparently another nameless woman out of wedlock. By 1748 
he had achieved financial independence and gained recognition 
for his philanthropy and the stimulus he provided to such civic 


causes as libraries, educational institutions, and hospitals. Ener- 
getic and tireless, he also found time to pursue his interest in 
science, as well as enter politics. 

Franklin served as clerk (1736-51) and member (1751-64) of the 
colonial legislature, and as deputy postmaster of Philadelphia 
(1737-53) and deputy postmaster general of the Colonies (1753- 
74). In addition, he represented Pennsylvania at the Albany 
Congress (1754), called to unite the Colonies during the French 
and Indian War. The congress adopted his "Plan of Union," but 
the colonial assemblies rejected it because it encroached on their 

During the years 1757-62 and 1764-75, Franklin resided in 
England, originally in the capacity of agent for Pennsylvania and 
later for Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. During the 
latter period, which coincided with the growth of colonial unrest, 
he underwent a political metamorphosis. Until then a contented 
Englishman in outlook, primarily concerned with Pennsylvania 
provincial politics, he distrusted popular movements and saw 
little purpose to be served in carrying principle to extremes. Until 
the issue of parliamentary taxation undermined the old alliances, 
he led the Quaker party attack on the Anglican proprietary party 
and its Presbyterian frontier allies. His purpose throughout the 
years at London in fact had been displacement of the Penn family 
administration by royal authority — the conversion of the province 
from a proprietary to a royal colony. 

It was during the Stamp Act crisis that Franklin evolved from 
leader of a shattered provincial party's faction to celebrated 
spokesman at London for American rights. Although as agent for 
Pennsylvania he opposed by every conceivable means the enact- 
ment of the bill in 1765, he did not at first realize the depth of 
colonial hostility. He regarded passage as unavoidable and 
preferred to submit to it while actually working for its repeal. 

Franklin's nomination of a friend and political ally as stamp 
distributor for Pennsylvania, coupled with his apparent accept- 
ance of the legislation, armed his proprietary opponents with 
explosive issues. Their energetic exploitation of them endangered 
his reputation at home until reliable information was published 
demonstrating his unabated opposition to the act. For a time, mob 
resentment threatened his family and new home in Philadelphia 
until his tradesmen supporters rallied. Subsequently, Franklin's 


The residence at 141 High (present Market) Street between Third and Fourth 
Streets, Philadelphia, where Benjamin Franklin lived in the period 1751 - 55 and 
possibly in 1755 - 61 . He placed the lightning rod on the roof. 

defense of the American position in the House of Commons during 
the debates over the Stamp Act's repeal restored his prestige at 

Franklin returned to Philadelphia in May 1775, and immediate- 
ly became a distinguished Member of the Continental Congress. 
Thirteen months later, he served on the committee that drafted 
the Declaration of Independence. He subsequently contributed to 
the Government in other important ways, including service as 
postmaster general, and took over the duties of president of the 
Pennsylvania constitutional convention. 

But, within less than a year and a half after his return, the aged 
statesman set sail once again for Europe, beginning a career as 
diplomat that would occupy him for most of the rest of his life. In 
1776-79, as one of three commissioners, he directed the negotia- 
tions that led to treaties of commerce and alliance with France, 
where the people adulated him, but he and the other commission- 
ers squabbled constantly. While he was sole commissioner to 
France (1779-85), he and John Jay and John Adams negotiated 
the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the War for Independence. 

Back in the United States, in 1785-87 Franklin became 
president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. At 
the Constitutional Convention, though he did not approve of 
many aspects of the finished document and was hampered by his 

The following was the order of Proceffion vef- 
terclay at the funeral of our late learned and il- 
luftrious citizen, Dr. FRANKLIN. 

All the Clergy of the city, before the corpfe. 


Carried by Citizens. 

The Pall fupported by The President of the Stare, 

the Chief Juftice — the Prefident of the Bank, 

Samuel Powell, William Bingham, and 

David Rittenhoufe, Efquires, 


Confilting of die family of the deceafed — with a 

number of particular friends, 
The Secretary and Members of the Supreme 

Executive Council. 

TheSpeakerandMembers of theGeneralAflembly. 

Judges of the Supreme Court, 

And other Officers of Government. 

The Gentlemen of the Bar. 

The Mayor and Corporation of the city of 

The Printers of the city, with their Journeymen 

and Apprentices. 

The Philofophical Society. 

The College or Phyficians. 

The Cincinnati. 
The College of Philadelphia. 
Sundry other Societies — together with a numer- 
ous and refpecftable body of Citizens. 
The concourfe of fpe&ators was greater than 
ever was known on a like occafion. It is compu- 
ted that not lefs than 20,000 perfons attended and 
wknefled the funeral. The order and filence 
which prevailed, during the Proceffion, deeply 
evinced the heartfelt ienfe, entertained by all 
clafles of citizens, of the unparralleled virtues, 
talents, uud fervices of the deceafed. 

All of Philadelphia, as well as the Nation, mourned the passing of Franklin. This is 
the "order of procession" for his funeral. 


age and ill-health, he missed few if any sessions, lent his prestige, 
soothed passions, and compromised disputes. 

In his twilight years, working on his Autobiography, Franklin 
could look back on a fruitful life as the toast of two continents. 
Energetic nearly to the last, in 1787 he was elected as first 
president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition 
of Slavery — a cause to which he had committed himself as early 
as the 1730's. His final public act was signing a memorial to 
Congress recommending dissolution of the slavery system. 
Shortly thereafter, in 1790 at the age of 84, Franklin passed away 
in Philadelphia and was laid to rest in Christ Church Burial 

Nicholas Gilman 


Gilman's career ranged from clerking 
in a store to long tours of duty in the 
U.S House of Representatives and 
Senate. Although never in the front 
rank of politics, he associated with 
some of the leading Americans of his 
time. He was one of the three bachelor 

Member of a distinguished New Hampshire family and second 
son in a family of eight, Nicholas Gilman was born at Exeter in 
1755. He received his education in local schools and worked at his 
father's general store. When the War for Independence began, he 
enlisted in the New Hampshire element of the Continental Army, 
soon won a captaincy, and served throughout the war. 

Gilman returned home, again helped his father in the store, and 
immersed himself in politics. In the period 1786--88 he sat in the 
Continental Congress, though his attendance record was poor. In 


1787 he represented New Hampshire at the Constitutional 
Convention. He did not arrive at Philadelphia until July 21, by 
which time much major business had already transpired. Never 
much of a debater, he made no speeches and played only a minor 
part in the deliberations. He did, however, serve on the committee 
on postponed matters. He was also active in obtaining New 
Hampshire's acceptance of the Constitution and in shepherding it 
through the Continental Congress. 

Gilman later became a prominent Federalist politician. He 
served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 until 1797; 
and in 1793 and 1797 was a Presidential elector. He also sat in the 
New Hampshire legislature in the years 1795, 1802, and 1804, and 
in 1805-8 and 1811-14 held the office of State treasurer. 

Meantime, Gilman's political philosophy had begun to drift 
toward the Democratic -Republicans. In 1802, when he was 
defeated for the U.S. Senate, President Jefferson appointed him as 
a bankruptcy commissioner, and 2 years later as a Democratic- 
Republican he won election to the U.S. Senate. He was still sitting 
there when he passed away at Philadelphia, while on his way 
home from the Nation's Capital, in 1814 at the age of 58. He is 
interred at the Winter Street Cemetery at Exeter. 

Nathaniel Gorham 


Despite his humble beginnings, this 
signer became President of the 
Continental Congress and one of the 
most successful businessmen and 
landowners in Massachusetts. At the 
Convention, he chaired the committee 
of the whole, served on the committee 
of detail, and made numerous other 
contributions. His fall was equally 
spectacular, and he died in 


Gorham, an eldest child, was born in 1738 at Charlestown, 
Mass., into an old Bay Colony family of modest means. His father 
operated a packet boat. The youth's education was minimal. When 
he was about 15 years of age, he was apprenticed to a New 
London, Conn., merchant. Quitting in 1759, he headed back to his 
hometown and established a business, which quickly succeeded. 
In 1763 he wed Rebecca Call, who was to bear nine children. 

Gorham began his political career as a public notary, but soon 
won election to the colonial legislature (1771-75). During the 
Revolution, he unswervingly backed the Whigs. He was a delegate 
to the provincial congress (1774-75), member of the Common- 
wealth's Board of War (1778-81), delegate to the constitutional 
convention (1779-80), and representative in both the upper (1780) 
and lower (1781-87) houses of the legislature, including the 
speakership of the latter in 1781, 1782, and 1785. In the latter year, 
though he apparently lacked formal legal training, he began a 
judicial career as judge of the Middlesex County court of common 
pleas (1785-96). During this same period, in 1788-89 he sat on the 
Governor's Council. 

During the war, British troops had ravaged much of Gorham's 
property, though by privateering and speculation he managed to 
recoup most of his fortune. Despite these pressing business 
concerns and his State political and judicial activities, he also 
managed to serve the Nation. He was a Member of the 
Continental Congress (1782-83 and 1785-87), from June 1786 
until January 1787 holding the office of President. 

The next year, at age 49, Gorham attended the Constitutional 
Convention. A moderate nationalist, he played an influential part 
in the sessions, all of which he attended. He spoke often, acted as 
chairman of the committee of the whole, and sat on the committee 
of detail. As a delegate to the Massachusetts ratifying convention, 
he stood behind the Constitution. 

Some unhappy years followed. Gorham did not serve in the new 
Government he had helped to create. In 1788 he and Oliver Phelps 
of Windsor, Conn., and possibly others, contracted to purchase 
from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 6 million acres of 
unimproved land in western New York. The price was $1 million 
in devalued Massachusetts scrip. Gorham and Phelps quickly 
succeeded in clearing Indian title to 2,600,000 acres in the eastern 
section of the grant and sold much of it to settlers. Problems soon 


arose, however. Massachusetts scrip rose dramatically in value, 
enormously swelling the purchase price of the vast tract. By 1790 
the two men were unable to meet their payments. The result was a 
financial crisis that led to Gorham's insolvency — and a fall from 
the heights of Boston society and political esteem. 

Gorham died in 1796 at the age of 58 and is buried at the Phipps 
Street Cemetery in Charlestown, Mass. 

Alexander Hamilton 


Hamilton, a brilliant and pragmatic 
politician-lawyer who soared to fame 
and power from modest origins, was 
one of the giants of the early period 
of U.S. history. An ardent nationalist, 
he was instrumental in the convening 
of the Constitutional Convention and 
spearheaded ratification in New 
York — though he did not play a key 
role at the Convention. Later, he 
served as the first Secretary of the 
Treasury, laid the foundations for 
national economic growth, and helped 
found the Federalist Party. His life 
ended tragically in a duel with Aaron 

Hamilton was born about 1755, apparently on the island of 
Nevis, in the Leeward group, British West Indies. He was the 
illegitimate son of a common-law marriage between a poor 
itinerant Scotch merchant of aristocratic descent and an English- 
French Huguenot mother who was a planter's daughter. In 1765, 
after the father had moved his family elsewhere in the Leewards 
to St. Croix in the Danish (now United States) Virgin Islands, he 
deserted his wife and two sons. 

The mother, who opened a small store to make ends meet, and a 
Presbyterian clergyman provided Alexander with a basic educa- 
tion, and somehow he learned to speak fluent French. When he 
was 12 to 14 years old, about the time of his mother's death, he 
became an apprentice clerk at Christiansted in a mercantile 


establishment, whose proprietor became one of his benefactors. 
Recognizing his ambition and superior intelligence, they raised a 
fund for his education. 

In 1772, bearing letters of introduction, Hamilton traveled to 
New York City. Patrons he met there arranged for him to attend 
Barber's Academy at Elizabethtown (present Elizabeth), N.J. 
During this time, he met and stayed for a while at the home of 
William Livingston, who would one day be a fellow signer of the 
Constitution. Late the next year, 1773, Hamilton entered King's 
College (later Columbia College and University) in New York 
City, but the Revolution interrupted his studies. 

Although not yet 20 years of age, in 1774-75 Hamilton wrote 
several widely read pro-Whig pamphlets. Right after the war 
broke out, he accepted an artillery captaincy and fought in the 
principal campaigns of 1776-77. In the latter year, winning the 
rank of lieutenant colonel, he joined the staff of General 
Washington as secretary and aide-de-camp and soon became his 
close confidant as well. 

In 1780 Hamilton wed New Yorker Elizabeth Schuyler, whose 
family was rich and politically powerful; they were to have eight 
children. In 1781, after some disagreements with Washington, he 
took a command position under Lafayette in the Yorktown, Va., 
campaign (1781). He resigned his commission that November. 

Hamilton then read law at Albany and quickly entered practice, 
but public service soon attracted him. He was elected to the 
Continental Congress in 1782-83. In the latter year, he estab- 
lished a law office in New York City. Because of his interest in 
strengthening the central Government, he represented his State at 
the Annapolis Convention in 1786, where he urged the calling of 
the Constitutional Convention. 

In 1787 Hamilton served in the legislature, which appointed him 
as a delegate to the Convention. He played a surprisingly small 
part in the debates, apparently because he was frequently absent 
on legal business, his extreme nationalism put him at odds with 
most of the delegates, and he was frustrated by the conservative 
views of his two fellow-New York delegates. He did, however, sit 
on the committee of style, and was the only one of the three 
delegates from his State who signed the finished document. 
Hamilton's part in New York's ratification the next year was 
substantial, though he felt the Constitution was deficient in many 


respects. Against determined opposition, he waged a strenuous 
and successful campaign, including collaboration with John Jay 
and James Madison in writing The Federalist Papers. In 1787-88 
Hamilton was again elected to the Continental Congress. 

When the new Government got underway in 1789, Hamilton 
won the position of Secretary of the Treasury. He began at once to 
place the Nation's disorganized finances on a sound footing. In a 
series of reports (1790-91), he presented a program not only to 
stabilize national finances, but also to shape the future of the 
country as a powerful, industrial Nation. He proposed establish- 
ment of a national bank, funding of the national debt, assumption 
of State war debts, and the encouragement of manufacturing. 

Hamilton's policies soon brought him into conflict with 
Jefferson and Madison. Their disputes with him over his pro- 
business economic program, sympathies for Great Britain, disdain 
for the common man, and opposition to the principles and 
excesses of the French Revolution contributed to the formation of 
the first U.S. party system. It pitted Hamilton and the Federalists 
against Jefferson and Madison and the Democratic-Republicans. 

During most of the Washington administration, Hamilton's 
views usually prevailed with the President, especially after 1793 
when Jefferson left the Government. In 1795 Hamilton's low 
salary as a Cabinet officer forced him to resign from the Treasury 
Department and resume his law practice in New York City. 
Except for a stint as inspector-general of the Army (1798-1800) 
during the undeclared war with France, he never again held 
public office. 

While gaining stature in the law, Hamilton continued to exert a 
powerful impact on New York and national politics. Always an 
opponent of fellow-Federalist John Adams, he sought to prevent 
his election to the Presidency in 1796. When that failed, he 
continued to use his influence secretly within Adams' Cabinet. 
The bitterness between the two men became public knowledge in 
1800 when Hamilton denounced Adams in a letter that was 
published through the efforts of the Democratic-Republicans. 

In 1802 Hamilton and his family moved into The Grange, a 
palatial country home he had built in a rural part of Manhattan 
not far north of New York City. But the expenses involved and 
heavy losses in land speculation seriously strained his finances. 


Meanwhile, when Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied in Presidential 
electoral votes in 1800, Hamilton threw valuable support to 
Jefferson. In 1804, when Burr sought the governorship of New 
York, Hamilton again managed to defeat him. That same year, 
Burr, taking offense at remarks he believed to have originated 
with Hamilton, challenged him to a duel, which took place at 
present Weehawken, N.J., on July 11. Mortally wounded, Hamil- 
ton died the next day. He was in his late forties at death. He was 
buried at Trinity Churchyard in New York City. 

Jared Ingersoll 


Although Ingersoll was the son of a 
well-known Loyalist during the 
Revolution, he rendered meritorious 
service to Pennsylvania and the 
United States. Yet he made his 
greatest mark as a lawyer in 
Philadelphia, a city that boasted the 
Nation's most respected bar. 

The son of Jared Ingersoll, Sr., a British colonial official and 
later prominent Loyalist, Ingersoll was born at New Haven, 
Conn., in 1749. He received an excellent education and graduated 
from Yale in 1766. He then oversaw the financial affairs of his 
father, who had relocated from New Haven to Philadelphia. Later, 
the youth joined him, took up the study of law, and won 
admittance to the Pennsylvania bar. 

In the midst of the Revolutionary fervor, which neither father 
nor son shared, in 1773, on the advice of the elder Ingersoll, Jared, 
Jr., sailed to London and studied law at the Middle Temple. 


Completing his work in 1776, he made a 2-year tour of the 
Continent, during which time for some reason he shed his 
Loyalist sympathies. 

Returning to Philadelphia and entering the legal profession, 
Ingersoll attended to the clients of one of the city's leading 
lawyers and a family friend, Joseph Reed, who was then occupied 
with the affairs of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylva- 
nia. In 1781 Ingersoll married Elizabeth Pettit (Petit). The year 
before, he had entered politics by winning election to the 
Continental Congress (1780-81). 

Although Ingersoll missed no sessions at the Constitutional 
Convention, had long favored revision of the Articles of Confeder- 
ation, and as a lawyer was used to debate, he seldom spoke during 
the proceedings. 

Subsequently, Ingersoll held a variety of public positions: 
member of the Philadelphia common council (1789); attorney 
general of Pennsylvania (1790-99 and 1811-17); Philadelphia city 
solicitor (1798-1801); U.S. District Attorney for Pennsylvania 
(1800-01); and presiding judge of the Philadelphia District Court 
(1821-22). Meantime, in 1812, he had been the Federalist Vice- 
Presidential candidate, but failed to win election. 

While pursuing his public activities, Ingersoll attained distinc- 
tion in his legal practice. For many years, he handled the affairs 
of Stephen Girard, one of the Nation's leading businessmen. In 
1791 Ingersoll began to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court 
and took part in some memorable cases. Although in both 
Chisholm v. Georgia (1792) and Hylton v. United States (1796) he 
represented the losing side, his arguments helped to clarify 
difficult constitutional issues. He also represented fellow-signer 
William Blount, a Senator, when he was threatened with 
impeachment in the late 1790's. 

Ingersoll's long career ended in 1822, when he died less than a 
week after his 73d birthday. Survived by three children, he was 
buried in the cemetery of Philadelphia's First Presbyterian 


Daniel of 

St. Thomas Jenifer 


Jenifer was a wealthy, aristocratic 
bachelor who expended long years of 
effort on behalf of Maryland, colony 
and State, where he was a popular 
figure in political circles. Although he 
attended the Mount Vernon 
Conference, he made little impact at 
the Constitutional Convention. 

Of Swedish and English descent, Jenifer was born in 1723 at 
Coates Retirement (now Ellerslie) estate, near Port Tobacco in 
Charles County, Md. Little is known about his childhood or 
education, but as an adult he came into possession of a large 
estate near Annapolis, called Stepney, where he lived most of his 
life. He never married. The web of his far-reaching friendships 
included such illustrious personages as George Washington. 

As a young man, Jenifer served as agent and receiver-general 
for the last two Proprietors of Maryland. He also filled the post of 
justice of the peace in Charles County and later for the western 
circuit of Maryland. In 1760 he sat on a boundary commission 
that settled disputes between Pennsylvania and Delaware. Six 
years later, he became a member of the provincial court, and from 
1773 to 1776 sat on the Maryland Royal Governor's council. 

Despite his association with conservative proprietary politics, 
Jenifer supported the Revolutionary movement, albeit at first 
reluctantly. In 1775-77 he served as president of the Maryland 
council of safety; then as president of the first State senate (1777- 
80); sat in the Continental Congress (1778-82); and held the 
position of State revenue and financial manager (1782-85). 

A conservative nationalist, Jenifer favored a strong and 
permanent union of the States and a Congress with taxation 
power. In 1785 he represented Maryland at the Mount Vernon 


Conference. Although he was one of 29 delegates who attended 
nearly every session of the Constitutional Convention, he did not 
speak often but backed Madison and the nationalist element. 

Jenifer lived only 3 more years and never again held public 
office. He died at the age of 66 or 67 at Annapolis in 1790. The exact 
location of his grave, apparently at present E Hers lie estate, is 

William Samuel 


Scholar, lawyer-jurist, and politician, 
Johnson was one of the best educated 
of the signers. The intimate of famous 
men on both sides of the Atlantic, he 
found his loyalties torn by the War for 
Independence. This did not prevent 
him, however, from serving 
Connecticut, Columbia College, and 
the Nation. He chaired the Convention's 
committee of style and backed the 
Great Compromise. 

The son of Samuel Johnson, the first president of King's College 
(later Columbia College and University), William was born at 
Stratford, Conn., in 1727. His father, who was a well-known 
Anglican clergyman-philosopher, prepared him for college and he 
graduated from Yale in 1744. About 3 years later, he won a master 
of arts degree from the same institution and an honorary masters 
from Harvard. 

Resisting his father's wish that he become a minister, Johnson 
embraced law instead — largely by educating himself and without 
benefit of formal training. After admittance to the bar, he 
launched a practice in Stratford, representing clients from nearby 
New York State as well as Connecticut, and before long 
established business connections with various mercantile houses 
in New York City. In 1749, adding to his already substantial 


wealth, he married Anne Beach, daughter of a local businessman. 
The couple was to have five daughters and six sons, but many of 
them died at an early age. 

Johnson did not shirk the civic responsibilities of one of his 
station. In the 1750's he began his public career as a Connecticut 
militia officer. In 1761 and 1765 he served in the lower house of the 
colonial assembly. In 1766 he was elected to the upper house (1766 
and 1771-75). 

At the time of the Revolution, conflicting loyalties disturbed 
Johnson. Although he attended the Stamp Act Congress (1765), 
moderately opposed the Townshend Duties of 1767, and believed 
that most British policy was unwise, he retained strong transat- 
lantic ties and found it difficult to choose sides. Many of his 
friends resided in Britain; in 1765 and 1766 Oxford University 
conferred honorary masters and doctors degrees upon him; he had 
a strong association with the Anglican Church; he acted as 
Connecticut's agent in Britain during the years 1767-71; and he 
was friendly with men such as Jared Ingersoll, Sr., who were 
affiliated with the British administration. 

Johnson finally decided to work for peace between Britain and 
the Colonies and to oppose the extremist Whig faction. On this 
basis, he refused to participate in the First Continental Congress, 
to which he was elected in 1774, following service as a judge of the 
Connecticut colonial supreme court (1772-74). When hostilities 
broke out, he confined his activities to peacemaking efforts. In 
April 1775 Connecticut sent him and another emissary to speak to 
British Gen. Thomas Gage about ending the bloodshed. But the 
time was not ripe for negotiations and they failed. As radical 
patriot elements gained the ascendancy in Connecticut, Johnson 
fell out of favor with the government and no longer was called on 
to serve it. Although he was arrested in 1779 on charges of 
communicating with the enemy, he cleared himself and was 

Once the passions of war had ebbed, Johnson resumed his 
political career. In the Continental Congress (1785-87), he was 
one of the most influential and popular Delegates. Playing a 
major role in the Constitutional Convention, he missed no 
sessions after arriving on June 2; espoused the Connecticut 
Compromise; and chaired the committee of style, which shaped 
the final document. He also worked for ratification in Connecticut. 

Johnson took part in the new Government as a U.S. Senator, in 


which position he contributed to passage of the Judiciary Act of 
1789. In 1791, the year after the Government moved from New 
York to Philadelphia, he resigned mainly because he preferred to 
devote all his energies to the presidency of Columbia College 
(1787-1800), in New York City. During these years, he established 
the school on a firm basis and recruited a fine faculty. 

Johnson retired from the college in 1800, a few years after his 
wife died, and the same year wed Mary Brewster Beach, a relative 
of his first bride. They resided at his birthplace, Stratford. He died 
there in 1819 at the age of 92 and was buried at Old Episcopal 

Rufus King 


Although one of the youngest 
delegates at the Convention, King was 
one of the most influential and spoke 
eloquently for the nationalist cause. 
He also sat on two major committees. 
Beyond that, he made other vital 
contributions to the Nation, as well as 
to Massachusetts and New York. Not 
only was he one of the country's ablest 
diplomats, but he was also a U.S. 
Senator for a long period. Although he 
twice won the Federalist nomination 
for Vice President and once for 
President, he failed to win the offices. 

King was born at Scarboro (Scarborough), Mass. (present 
Maine), in 1755. He was the eldest son of a prosperous farmer- 
merchant. At age 12, after receiving an elementary education at 
local schools, he matriculated at Dummer Academy in South 
Byfield, Mass., and in 1777 graduated from Harvard. He served 
briefly as a general's aide during the War for Independence. 
Choosing a legal career, he read for the law at Newburyport, 
Mass., and entered practice there in 1780. 

King's knowledge, bearing, and oratorical gifts soon launched 
him on a political career. From 1783 to 1785, he was a member of 


the Massachusetts legislature, after which that body sent him to 
the Continental Congress (1784-86). There, he gained a reputation 
as a brilliant speaker and an early opponent of slavery. Toward 
the end of his tour, in 1786, he married Mary Alsop, daughter of a 
rich New York City merchant. He performed his final duties for 
Massachusetts by representing her at the Constitutional Conven- 
tion and by serving in the Commonwealth ratifying convention. 

At age 32, King was not only one of the most youthful of the 
delegates at Philadelphia, but was also one of the most important. 
He numbered among the most capable orators. Furthermore, he 
attended every session. Although he came to the Convention 
unconvinced that major changes should be made in the Articles of 
Confederation, during the debates his views underwent a startling 
transformation. With Madison, he became a leading figure in the 
nationalist caucus. He served with distinction on the committee 
on postponed matters and the committee of style. He also took 
notes on the proceedings, which have been valuable to historians. 

About 1788 King abandoned his law practice, moved from the 
Bay State to Gotham, and entered the New York political forum. 
He was elected to the legislature (1789-90), and in the former year 
was picked as one of the State's first U.S. Senators. As political 
divisions grew in the new Government, King's sympathies came 
to be ardently Federalist. In Congress, he supported Hamilton's 
fiscal program and stood among the leading proponents of the 
unpopular Jay's Treaty (1794). 

Meantime, in 1791, King had become one of the directors of the 
First Bank of the United States. Reelected as a U.S. Senator in 
1795, he served only a year before he was appointed as Minister to 
Great Britain (1796-1803). 

King's years in this post were difficult ones in Anglo-American 
relations. The wars of the French Revolution trapped U.S. 
commerce between the French and the British. The latter in 
particular violated American rights on the high seas, especially 
by the impressment of sailors. Although King was unable to bring 
about a change in this policy, he smoothed relations between the 
two nations in various ways. 

In 1803 King sailed back to the United States and to a career in 
politics. In 1804 and 1808 fellow-signer Charles Cotesworth 
Pinckney and he were the Federalist candidates for President and 
Vice President, respectively, but were decisively defeated. Other- 
wise, King largely contented himself with agricultural pursuits at 


King Manor, a Long Island estate he had purchased in 1805. 
During the War of 1812, he was again elected to the U.S. Senate 
(1813-25) and ranked as a leading critic of the war. Only after the 
British attacked Washington in 1814 did he come to believe that 
the United States was fighting a defensive action and lent his 
support to the war effort. 

In 1816 the Federalists chose King as their candidate for the 
Presidency, but James Monroe handily beat him. Still in the 
Senate, that same year King led the opposition to the establish- 
ment of the Second Bank of the United States. Four years later, 
believing that the issue of slavery could not be compromised but 
must be settled once and for all by the immediate establishment of 
a system of compensated emancipation and colonization, he 
denounced the Missouri Compromise. 

In 1825, suffering from ill health, King retired from the Senate. 
President John Quincy Adams, however, persuaded him to accept 
another assignment as Minister to Great Britain. He arrived in 
England that same year, but soon fell ill and was forced to return 
home the following year. Within a year, at the age of 72, in 1827, 
he died. Surviving him were several offspring, some of whom also 
gained distinction. He was laid to rest near King Manor in the 
cemetery of Grace Episcopal Church, Jamaica, Long Island, N.Y. 

John Langdon 


Langdon, who stood out at the 
Convention despite his late arrival, 
was a politician and businessman who 
had enthusiastically backed the 
patriot cause during the War for 
Independence. He also enjoyed long 
and fruitful careers in New Hampshire 
and national politics. 


Langdon was born in 1741 at or near Portsmouth, N.H. His 
father, whose family had emigrated to America before 1660, was a 
prosperous farmer who sired a large family. The youth's education 
was intermittent. He attended a local grammar school, worked as 
an apprentice clerk, and spent some time at sea. Eventually he 
went into the mercantile business for himself and prospered. 

Langdon, a vigorous supporter of the Revolution, sat on the 
New Hampshire committee of correspondence and a nonimporta- 
tion committee. He also attended various patriot assemblies. In 1774 
he participated in the seizure and confiscation of British munitions 
from the Portsmouth fort. 

The next year, Langdon served as speaker of the New 
Hampshire assembly and also sat in the Continental Congress 
(1775-76). During the latter year, he accepted a colonelcy in the 
militia of his State and became its agent for British prizes on 
behalf of the Continental Congress, a post he held throughout the 
war. In addition, he built privateers for operations against the 
British — a lucrative occupation. 

Langdon also actively took part in the land war. In 1777 he 
organized and paid for Gen. John Stark's expedition from New 
Hampshire against British Gen. John Burgoyne and was present 
in command of a militia unit at Saratoga, N.Y., when the latter 
surrendered. Langdon later led a detachment of troops during the 
Rhode Island campaign, but found his major outlet in politics. He 
was speaker of the New Hampshire legislature from 1777 to 1781. 
In 1777, meantime, he had married Elizabeth Sherburne, who was 
to give birth to one daughter. 

In 1783 Langdon was elected to the Continental Congress; the 
next year, to the State senate; and the following year, as 
president, or chief executive, of New Hampshire. In 1784 he built a 
home at Portsmouth. In 1786-87 he was back again as speaker of 
the legislature, and during the latter year for the third time in the 
Continental Congress. 

Langdon was forced to pay his own expenses and those of 
Nicholas Gilman to the Constitutional Convention because New 
Hampshire was unable or unwilling to pay them. The pair did not 
arrive at Philadelphia until late July, by which time much 
business had already been consummated. Thereafter, Langdon 
made a significant mark. He spoke more than 20 times during the 
debates and was a member of the committee that struck a 
compromise on the issue of slavery. For the most part, his 


sympathies lay on the side of strengthening the national 
Government. In 1788, once again as State president (1788-89), he 
took part in the ratifying convention. 

From 1789 to 1801 Langdon sat in the U.S. Senate, including 
service as the first President pro tern for several sessions. During 
these years, his political affiliations changed. As a supporter of a 
strong central Government, he had been a member of the 
Federalist Party, but by the time of Jay's Treaty (1794) he was 
opposing its policies. By 1801 he was firmly backing the 

That year, Langdon declined Jefferson's offer of the secretary- 
ship of the Navy. Between then and 1812, he kept active in New 
Hampshire politics. He sat again in the legislature (1801-5), twice 
holding the position of speaker. After several unsuccessful 
attempts, in 1805 he was elected as Governor and continued in 
that post until 1811 except for a year's hiatus in 1809. Meantime, 
in 1805, Dartmouth College had awarded him an honorary doctor 
of laws degree. 

In 1812 Langdon refused the Democratic -Republican Vice- 
Presidential nomination on the grounds of age and health. He 
enjoyed retirement for another 7 years before he died at the age of 
78. His grave is at Old North Cemetery in Portsmouth. 

*tr -**• *ir """J*" *jT ~V V *r- ~^ * *1r ~£* ** "** **~ ~3? -+$r 

POR TS M O U TH, (New Hampfhire) May 19. 

We are authorised to inform our readers that the probability 
of the honorable deiega es from this (late not attending the 
convention at Philadelphia, caufes great uneafinefs in the 
minds of the true whigs of New Hampshire, and will occaflon 
a confiderable infpe&ion inro the ftate of our finances. 

Near one quarter part of the towns in this (late haye refolv- 
ed not to fend any reprefentativen to the enfuing General 
Court. A correfpondent fupppfes this circuinltanct will great- 
ly accelerate public bufinefs. 

BOSTON, May to. 

The legiflarure of Connecticut having lail week appointed 
its deputies, twelve dates will be represented in the grand 
federal Convention, now fitting in Philadelphia— Rhode If- 
land 1* the delinquent (late -but, obferves a correfpondent, 
this i', a crcumftance far more joyous than erievous ; ior her 

Because New Hampshire did not provide funds, its two delegates, John Langdon 
and Nicholas Gilman, did not arrive at the Convention until July 23, 1 787, and had 
to pay their own way. Rhode Island was the only State not represented, as this 
extract from a Philadelphia newspaper also indicates. 


William Livingston 


Livingston, who chaired the 
Convention committee that reached a 
compromise on slavery, was a member 
of one of the most politically and 
economically powerful families in the 
Colonies, but he spearheaded popular 
rather than conservative causes and 
was a fervent Revolutionary. Excelling 
in politics as well as the law, though a 
gentleman farmer at heart, he served 
in the Continental Congress and as 
the first Governor of his State. His 
elder brother, Philip, signed the 
Declaration of Independence. 

Livingston was born in 1723 at Albany, N.Y. His maternal 
grandmother reared him until he was 14, and he then spent a year 
with a missionary among the Mohawk Indians. He attended Yale 
and graduated in 1741. 

Rejecting his family's hope that he would enter the fur trade at 
Albany or mercantile pursuits in New York City, young Living- 
ston chose to pursue a career in law at the latter place. Before he 
completed his legal studies, in 1745 he married Susanna French, 
daughter of a well-to-do New Jersey landowner. She was to bear 
13 children. 

Three years later, Livingston was admitted to the bar and 
quickly gained a reputation as the supporter of popular causes 
against the more conservative factions in the city. Associated 
with the Calvinists in religion, he opposed the dominant Anglican 
leaders in the colony and wielded a sharply satirical pen in verses 
and broadsides. Attacking the Anglican attempt to charter and 
control King's College (later Columbia College and University) 
and the dominant De Lancey party for its Anglican sympathies, 
by 1758 Livingston had risen to the leadership of his faction. For 
a decade, it controlled the colonial assembly and fought against 
Parliamentary interference in the colony's affairs. During this 
time, in 1759-61, Livingston sat in the assembly. 

In 1769 Livingston's supporters, riven by the growing debate as 


to how to respond to British taxation of the Colonies, lost control 
of the assembly. Not long thereafter, Livingston, who had also 
grown tired of legal practice, moved to the Elizabethtown (present 
Elizabeth), N.J., area, where he had purchased land in 1760. 
There, in 1772-73, he built an estate, Liberty Hall; continued to 
write verse; and planned to live the life of a gentleman farmer. 

The Revolutionary upsurge, however, brought Livingston out of 
retirement. He soon became a member of the Essex County, N.J., 
committee of correspondence; in 1774 a Representative in the First 
Continental Congress; and in 1775-76 a Delegate to the Second 
Continental Congress. In June 1776 he left Congress to command 
the New Jersey militia as a brigadier general and held this post 
until he was elected later in the year as the first Governor of the 

Livingston held the position throughout and beyond the war — 
in fact, for 14 consecutive years until his death in 1790. During his 
administration, the government was organized, the war won, and 
New Jersey launched on her path as a sovereign State. Although 
the pressure of affairs often prevented it, he enjoyed his estate 
whenever possible, conducted agricultural experiments, and 
became a member of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting 
Agriculture. He was also active in the antislavery movement. 

In 1787 Livingston was selected as a delegate to the Constitu- 
tional Convention, though his gubernatorial duties prevented him 
from attending every session. He did not arrive until June 5 and 
missed several weeks in July, but he performed vital committee 
work, particularly as chairman of the one that reached a 
compromise on the issue of slavery. He also supported the New 
Jersey Plan. In addition, he spurred New Jersey's rapid ratifica- 
tion of the Constitution (1787). The next year, Yale awarded him 
an honorary doctor of laws degree. 

Livingston died at Liberty Hall in his 67th year in 1790. He was 
originally buried at the local Presbyterian Churchyard, but a year 
later his remains were moved to a vault his son owned at Trinity 
Churchyard in Manhattan; and in 1844 were again relocated, to 
Brooklyn's Greenwood Cemetery 


James McHenry 


A soldier, physician, and politician 
who was one of several foreign-born 
signers of the Constitution, McHenry 
served as a surgeon and as an aide to 
Washington and Lafayette during the 
War for Independence; sat in the 
Maryland legislature and the 
Continental Congress; and held the 
position of Secretary of War in the 
Washington and John Adams 
administrations. Baltimore's Fort 
McHenry was named after him. 

McHenry was born at Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland, in 
1753. He enjoyed a classical education at Dublin, and in 1771 
emigrated to Philadelphia. The following year, the rest of his 
family came to the Colonies, and his brother and father 
established an import business at Baltimore. During that year, 
James continued schooling at Newark Academy in Delaware and 
then studied medicine for 2 years under the well-known Dr. 
Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia. 

During the War for Independence, McHenry served as a military 
surgeon. Late in 1776, while he was on the staff of the 5th 
Pennsylvania Battalion, the British captured him at Fort 
Washington, N.Y. He was paroled early the next year and 
exchanged in March 1778. Returning immediately to duty, he was 
assigned to Valley Forge, Pa., and in May became secretary to 
George Washington. About this time, McHenry apparently quit 
the practice of medicine to devote himself to politics and 
administration, and apparently never needed to return to it after 
the war because of his excellent financial circumstances. 

McHenry stayed on Washington's staff until 1780, when he 
joined that of the Marquis de Lafayette, and he remained in that 
assignment until he entered the Maryland senate (1781-86). 


During part of this period, he served concurrently in the 
Continental Congress (1783-86). In 1784 he married Margaret 
Allison Caldwell. 

McHenry missed many of the proceedings at the Philadelphia 
Convention, in part because of the illness of his brother, and 
played an insubstantial part in the debates when he was present. 
He did, however, maintain a private journal that has been useful 



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Family illness and personal business caused the temporary absence of many 
Convention delegates. Because of the sickness of his brother, James McHenry 
left Philadelphia on June 1 (his letter to George Washington is misdated) and did 
not return until August 4. 


to posterity. He campaigned strenuously for the Constitution in 
Maryland and attended the State ratifying convention. 

From 1789 to 1791, McHenry sat in the State assembly and in 
the years 1791-96 again in the senate. A staunch Federalist, he 
then accepted Washington's offer of the post of Secretary of War 
and held it into the administration of John Adams. McHenry 
looked to Hamilton rather than to Adams for leadership. As time 
passed, the latter became increasingly dissatisfied with McHen- 
ry's performance and distrustful of his political motives, and in 
1800 forced him to resign. Subsequently, the Democratic- 
Republicans accused him of maladministration, but a congres- 
sional committee vindicated him. 

McHenry returned to his estate near Baltimore and to semire- 
tirement. He remained a loyal Federalist and opposed the War of 
1812. He also held the office of president of a Bible society. He died 
in 1816 at the age of 62, survived by two of his three children. His 
grave is in Baltimore's Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery. 

James Madison 


A brilliant political philosopher and 
pragmatic politician who dominated 
the Constitutional Convention, 
Madison has deservedly won the 
epithet "Father of the Constitution." 
Other facets of his remarkable career 
include the founding of the 
Democratic-Republican Party with his 
mentor, Jefferson; tours in the 
Continental Congress and the U.S. 
House of Representatives; and ascent 
to the Presidency, during which he led 
the Nation through the War of 1812 
and the ensuing period of nationalistic 

The oldest of 10 children and a scion of the planter aristocracy, 
Madison was born in 1751 at Port Conway, King George County, 
Va., while his mother was visiting her parents. With her newborn 
son, in a few weeks she journeyed back to Montpelier estate, in 
Orange County, which became his lifelong home. He received his 


early education from his mother, from tutors, and at a private 
school. An excellent scholar though frail and sickly in his youth, 
in 1771 he graduated from the College of New Jersey (later 
Princeton), where he demonstrated special interest in government 
and the law. But, considering the ministry for a career, he stayed 
on for a year of postgraduate study in theology. 

Back at Montpelier, still undecided on a profession, Madison 
soon embraced the patriot cause, and State and local politics 
absorbed much of his time. In 1775 he served on the Orange 
County committee of safety; the next year at the Virginia 
Convention, which, besides advocating various Revolutionary 
steps, framed the Virginia constitution; in 1776-77 in the House of 
Delegates; and in 1778-80 in the Council of State. His ill health 
precluded any military service. 

In 1780 Madison was chosen to represent Virginia in the 
Continental Congress (1780-83 and 1786-88). Although originally 
the youngest Delegate, he played a major role in the deliberations 
of that body. Meantime, in the years 1784-86, he had again sat in 
the Virginia House of Delegates. He was a guiding force behind 
the Mount Vernon Conference (1785), attended the Annapolis 
Convention (1786), and was otherwise highly instrumental in the 
convening of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He had also 
written extensively about deficiencies in the Articles of Confedera- 

Madison was clearly the preeminent figure at the Convention. 
Some of the delegates favored an authoritarian central Govern- 
ment; others, retention of State sovereignty; and most occupied 
positions in the middle of the two extremes. Madison, who was 
rarely absent and whose Virginia Plan was in large part the basis 
of the Constitution, tirelessly advocated a strong Government, 
though many of his proposals were rejected. Despite his lack of 
special capability as a speaker, he took the floor more than 150 
times, third only after Gouverneur Morris and James Wilson. 
Madison was also a member of numerous committees, the most 
important of which were those on postponed matters and style. 
His journal of the Convention is the best single record of the 
event. He also played a key part in guiding the Constitution 
through the Continental Congress. 

Playing a lead in the ratification process in Virginia, too, 
Madison defended the document against such powerful opponents 


as Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Richard Henry Lee. In New 
York, where Madison was serving in the Continental Congress, he 
collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in a series of 
essays that in 1787-88 appeared in the newspapers and were soon 
published in book form as The Federalist (1788). This set of essays 
is a classic of political theory and a lucid exposition of the 
republican principles that dominated the framing of the Constitu- 

As a U.S. Representative (1789-97), Madison helped frame and 
insure passage of the Bill of Rights. He also assisted in organizing 
the executive department and creating a system of Federal 
taxation. As leaders of the opposition to Hamilton's policies, he 
and Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party. 

In 1794 Madison married a vivacious widow who was 16 years 
his junior, Dolley Payne Todd, who had a son; they were to raise 
no children of their own. Madison spent the period 1797-1801 in 
semiretirement, but in 1798 he authored the Virginia Resolutions, 
which attacked the Alien and Sedition Acts. While he served as 
Secretary of State (1801-9), his wife often served as President 
Jefferson's hostess. 

In 1809 Madison succeeded Jefferson. Like the first three 
Presidents, Madison was enmeshed in the ramifications of 
European wars. Diplomacy had failed to prevent the seizure of 
U.S. ships, goods, and men on the high seas; and a depression 
wracked the country. Madison continued to apply diplomatic 
techniques and economic sanctions, eventually effective to some 
degree against France. But continued British interference with 
shipping, as well as other grievances, led to the War of 1812. 

The war, for which the young Nation was ill prepared, ended in 
stalemate in December 1814 when the inconclusive Treaty of 
Ghent, which nearly restored prewar conditions, was signed. But, 
thanks mainly to Andrew Jackson's spectacular victory at the 
Battle of New Orleans (Chalmette) in January 1815 most 
Americans believed they had won. Twice tested, independence had 
survived, and an ebullient nationalism marked Madison's last 
years in office, during which period the Democratic -Republicans 
held virtually uncontested sway. 

In retirement after his second term, Madison managed Montpe- 
lier, but continued to be active in public affairs. He devoted long 
hours to editing his journal of the Constitutional Convention, 


which the Government was to publish 4 years after his death. He 
served as cochairman of the Virginia constitutional convention of 
1829-30 and as rector of the University of Virginia during the 
period 1826-36. Writing newspaper articles defending the admin- 
istration of Monroe, he also acted as his foreign policy adviser. 
Madison spoke out, too, against the emerging sectional 

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controversy that threatened the existence of the Union. Although 
a slaveholder all his life, he was active during his later years in 
the American Colonization Society, whose mission was the 
resettlement of slaves in Africa. 

Madison died at the age of 85 in 1836, survived by his wife and 

Thomas Mifflin 


Merchant-politician-soldier Mifflin 
lived in affluence for most of his years, 
but died in poverty. He had forsaken 
his Quaker faith to fight in the War 
for Independence. Later, he served as 
President of the Continental Congress 
and as Governor of Pennsylvania. 

A member of the fourth generation of a Pennsylvania Quaker 
family who had emigrated from England, Mifflin was born at 
Philadelphia in 1744, the son of a rich merchant and local 
politician. He studied at a Quaker school and then at the College 
of Philadelphia (later part of the University of Pennsylvania), 
from which he won a diploma at the age of 16 and whose interests 
he was to advance for the rest of his life. 

Mifflin then worked for 4 years in a Philadelphia counting- 
house. In 1764 he visited Europe, and the next year entered the 
mercantile business in Philadelphia with his brother. In 1767 he 
wed Sarah Morris. Although he prospered in business, politics 
enticed him. 

In the Pennsylvania legislature (1772-76), Mifflin championed 
the colonial position against the Crown. In 1774 he attended the 
Continental Congress (1774-76). Meanwhile, he had helped to 
raise troops and in May 1775 won appointment as a major in the 


Continental Army, which caused him to be expelled from his 
Quaker faith. In the summer of 1775 he first became an aide-de- 
camp to Washington and then Quartermaster General of the 
Continental Army. Late in 1775 he became a colonel and in May 
1776 a brigadier general. Preferring action to administration, after 
a time he began to perform his quartermaster duties perfunctorily. 
Nevertheless, he participated directly in the war effort. He took 
part in the Battles of Long Island, N.Y., Trenton, N.J., and 
Princeton, N.J. Furthermore, through his persuasive oratory, he 
apparently convinced many men not to leave the military service. 

In 1777 Mifflin attained the rank of major general but, restive at 
criticism of his quartermaster activities, he resigned. About the 
same time, though he later became a friend of Washington, he 
became involved in the cabal that advanced Gen. Horatio Gates to 
replace him in command of the Continental Army. In 1777-78 
Mifflin sat on the Congressional Board of War. In the latter year, 
he briefly reentered the military, but continuing attacks on his 
earlier conduct of the quartermastership soon led him to resign 
once more. 

Mifflin returned immediately to politics. He sat in the State 
assembly (1778-79) and again in the Continental Congress (1782- 
84), from December 1783 to the following June as its President. In 
1787 he was chosen to take part in the Constitutional Convention. 
He attended regularly, but made no speeches and did not play a 
substantial role. 

Mifflin continued in the legislature (1785-88 and 1799-1800); 
succeeded Franklin as president of the Supreme Executive Council 
(1788-90); chaired the constitutional convention (1789-90); and 
held the governorship (1790-99), during which time he affiliated 
himself with the emerging Democratic-Republican Party. 

Although wealthy most of his life, Mifflin was a lavish spender. 
Pressure from his creditors forced him to leave Philadelphia in 
1799, and he died at Lancaster the next year, aged 56. The 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania paid his burial expenses at the 
local Trinity Lutheran Church. 


Gouverneur Morris 


The apparent drafter of the 
Constitution and one of the leaders at 
the Convention, Gouverneur Morris 
was one of the wittiest and most 
brilliant Americans of his time. While 
energetically pursuing his legal and 
business interests, he contributed to 
the political systems of New York and 
Pennsylvania, as well as that of the 
Nation. He sat in the Continental 
Congress and the U.S. Senate and 
held the position of Minister to France. 
Embittering his last years were forced 
political retirement and the rise of the 
Democratic-Republican Party to 
national dominance. 

Of French and English descent, Gouverneur was born at 
Morrisania estate, in Westchester (present Bronx) County, N.Y., 
in 1752. His family was wealthy and enjoyed a long record of 
public service. His elder half-brother, Lewis, signed the Declara- 
tion of Independence. 

Gouverneur was educated by private tutors and at a Huguenot 
school in New Rochelle. In early life, he lost a leg in a carriage 
accident. He attended King's College (later Columbia College and 
University) in New York City, graduating in 1768 at the age of 16. 
Three years later, after reading law in the city, he gained 
admission to the bar. 

When the Revolution loomed on the horizon, Morris became 
interested in political affairs. Because of his conservatism, 
however, he at first feared the movement, which he believed would 
bring mob rule. Furthermore, some of his family and many of his 
friends were Loyalists. But, beginning in 1775, for some reason he 
sided with the Whigs. That same year, representing Westchester 
County, he took a seat in New York's Revolutionary provincial 
congress (1775-77). In 1776, when he also served in the militia, 
along with John Jay and Robert R. Livingston he drafted the 
first constitution of the State. Subsequently he joined its council of 
safety (1777). 

In 1777-78 Morris sat in the legislature and in 1778-79 in the 
Continental Congress, where he numbered among the youngest 


and most brilliant Members. During this period, he signed the 
Articles of Confederation and drafted instructions for Benjamin 
Franklin, in Paris, as well as those that provided a partial basis 
for the treaty ending the War for Independence. Morris was also a 
close friend of Washington and one of his strongest congressional 

Defeated in his bid for reelection to Congress in 1779 because of 
the opposition of Gov. George Clinton's faction, Morris relocated 
to Philadelphia and resumed the practice of law. This temporarily 
removed him from the political scene, but in 1781 he resumed his 
public career when he became the principal assistant to Robert 
Morris, Superintendent of Finance for the United States, to whom 
he was unrelated. Gouverneur held this position for 4 years. 

Morris emerged as one of the leading figures at the Constitution- 
al Convention. His speeches, more frequent than those by anyone 
else, numbered 173. Although sometimes presented in a light vein, 
they were usually substantive. A strong advocate of nationalism 
and aristocratic rule, he served on many committees, including 
those on postponed matters and style, and stood in the thick of the 
decision-making process. Above all, it was apparently he who 
actually drafted the Constitution. 

Morris subsequently left public life for a time to devote his 
attention to business. Having purchased the family home from his 
half-brother, Lewis, he moved back to New York, but soon, in 1789, 
on a venture in association with Robert Morris, traveled to France, 
where he witnessed the beginnings of the French Revolution. 

Morris was to remain in Europe for about a decade. In 1790-91 
he undertook a diplomatic mission to London to try to negotiate 
some of the outstanding problems between the United States and 
Great Britain. The mission failed, but in 1792 Washington 
appointed him as Minister to France, to replace Thomas Jefferson. 
Morris was recalled 2 years later, but did not come home. Instead, 
he traveled extensively in Europe for more than 4 years, during 
which time he handled his complicated business affairs and 
contemplated the complex political situation. 

Morris returned to the United States in 1799. The next year, he 
was elected to finish an unexpired term in the U.S. Senate. An 
ardent Federalist, he was defeated in his bid for reelection in 1802 
and left office the following year. 

Morris retired to a glittering life at Morrisania, where he had 


built a new residence. In 1809 he married Anne Cary (Carey) 
Randolph of Virginia, and they had one son. During his last 
years, he continued to speak out against the Democratic- 
Republicans, and violently opposed the War of 1812. In the years 
1810-13, he served as chairman of the Erie Canal Commission. 
Morris died at Morrisania in 1816 at the age of 64 and was 
buried at St. Anne's Episcopal Churchyard, in the Bronx, New 
York City. 

Robert Morris 


Merchant Robert Morris was a man of 
many distinctions. One of the 
wealthiest individuals in the Colonies 
and an economic wizard, he won the 
accolade "Financier of the 
Revolution," yet died penniless and 
forgotten. He and Roger Sherman 
were the only signers of all three of 
the Nation's basic documents: the 
Declaration of Independence, 
Articles of Confederation, and 
Constitution. Morris, who turned down 
appointment as the first Secretary of 
the Treasury, also served as a Senator 
in the First Congress. 

Morris was born at or near Liverpool, England, in 1734. When 
he reached 13 years of age, he emigrated to Maryland to join his 
father, a tobacco exporter at Oxford, Md. After brief schooling at 
Philadelphia, the youth obtained employment with Thomas and 
Charles Willing's well-known shipping-banking firm. In 1754 he 
became a partner, and for almost four decades was one of the 
company's directors as well as an influential Philadelphia citizen. 
Wedding Mary White at the age of 35, he fathered five sons and 
two daughters. 

During the Stamp Act turmoil in 1765, Morris had joined other 
merchants in protest, but not until the outbreak of hostilities a 
decade hence did he fully commit himself to the Revolution. In 


1775 the Continental Congress contracted with his firm to import 
arms and ammunition; and he was elected to the Pennsylvania 
council of safety (1775-76), the committee of correspondence, the 
provincial assembly (1775-76), the legislature (1776-78), and the 
Continental Congress (1775-78). In the latter body, on July 1, 
1776, he voted against independence, which he personally 
considered premature, but the next day purposely absented 
himself to facilitate an affirmative ballot by the Pennsylvania 

Morris, a key Congressman, specialized in financial affairs and 
military procurement. Although he and his firm profited hand- 
somely, had it not been for his assiduous labors the Continental 
Army would probably have needed to demobilize. He worked 
closely with General Washington, wheedled money and supplies 
from the States, borrowed money in the face of overwhelming 
difficulties, and on occasion even obtained personal loans to 
further the war cause. 

Immediately following his congressional service, Morris sat for 
two more terms in the Pennsylvania legislature (1778-81). During 
this time, Thomas Paine and others attacked him for profiteering 
in Congress, which investigated his accounts and vindicated him. 
Nevertheless, his reputation suffered. 

Morris embarked on the most dramatic phase of his career by 
accepting the office of Superintendent of Finance (1781-84) under 
the Articles of Confederation. Congress, recognizing the perilous 
state of the Nation's finances and its impotence to provide 
remedies, granted him dictatorial powers and acquiesced to his 
condition that he be allowed to continue his private commercial 
enterprises. He slashed all governmental and military expendi- 
tures, personally purchased Army and Navy supplies, tightened 
accounting procedures, prodded the States to fulfill quotas of 
money and supplies, and when necessary strained his personal 
credit by issuing notes over his own signature or borrowing from 

To finance Washington's Yorktown campaign in 1781, in 
addition to the above techniques, Morris obtained a sizable loan 
from France. He used part of it, along with some of his own 
fortune, to organize the Bank of North America, chartered that 
December. The first Government-incorporated bank in the United 
States, it aided war financing. 


Although Morris was reelected to the Pennsylvania legislature 
in 1785-86, his private ventures consumed most of his time. In the 
latter year, he attended the Annapolis Convention, and the 
following year the Constitutional Convention, where he sympa- 
thized with the Federalists but was, for a man of his eminence, 
strangely silent. Although in attendance at practically every 
meeting, he spoke only twice in debates and did not serve on any 
committees. In 1789, declining Washington's offer of appointment 
as the first Secretary of the Treasury, he took instead a U.S. 
Senate seat (1789-95). 

During the later years of his public life, Morris speculated 
wildly, often on overextended credit, in lands in the West and at 
the site of Washington, D.C. To compound his difficulties, in 1794 
he began constructing on Philadelphia's Chestnut Street a 
mansion designed by Maj. Pierre Charles L'Enfant. Not long 
thereafter, Morris attempted to escape creditors by retreating to 
The Hills, the country estate along the Schuylkill River on the 
edge of Philadelphia that he had acquired in 1770. 

Arrested at the behest of creditors in 1798 and forced to 
abandon completion of the mansion, henceforth known in its 
unfinished state as "Morris' Folly," Morris was thrown into the 
Philadelphia debtors' prison, where he was nevertheless well 
treated. By the time he was released in 1801, under a Federal 
bankruptcy law, however, his property and fortune had vanished, 
his health deteriorated, and his spirit broken. He lingered on amid 
poverty and obscurity, living in a simple Philadelphia home on an 
annuity obtained for his wife by fellow-signer Gouverneur Morris. 

Robert died in 1806 in his 73d year and was buried in the yard of 
Christ Church. 


William Paterson 


Paterson, one of the authors of the 
New Jersey, or Paterson, Plan, was 
one of seven foreign-born signers. 
Although he made his career 
primarily as a lawyer-jurist and 
reached the pinnacle of his success as 
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme 
Court, his political offices included 
attorney general, legislator, and 
Governor of New Jersey; and, briefly, 
U.S. Senator. 

William Paterson (Patterson) was born in County Antrim, 
Ireland, in 1745. When he was almost 2 years of age, his family 
emigrated to America, disembarking at New Castle, Del. While the 
father traveled about the country, apparently selling tinware, the 
family lived in New London, other places in Connecticut, and in 
Trenton, N.J. In 1750 he settled in Princeton, N.J. There, he 
became a merchant and manufacturer of tin goods. His prosperity 
enabled William to attend local private schools and the College of 
New Jersey (later Princeton). He took a B.A. in 1763 and an M.A. 
3 years later. 

Meantime, Paterson had studied law in the city of Princeton 
under Richard Stockton, who later was to sign the Declaration of 
Independence, and near the end of the decade began practicing at 
New Bromley, in Hunterdon County. Before long, he moved to 
South Branch, in Somerset County, and then in 1779 relocated 
near New Brunswick at Raritan estate. 

When the War for Independence broke out, Paterson joined the 
vanguard of the New Jersey patriots. He served in the provincial 
congress (1775-76), the constitutional convention (1776), legisla- 
tive council (1776-77), and council of safety (1777). During the 
latter year, he also held a militia commission. From 1776 to 1783 


he was attorney general of New Jersey, a task that occupied so 
much of his time that it prevented him from accepting election to 
the Continental Congress in 1780. Meantime, the year before, he 
had married Cornelia Bell, by whom he had three children before 
her death in 1783. Two years later, he took a new bride, Euphemia 
White, but it is not known whether or not they reared any 

From 1783, when he moved into the city of New Brunswick, 
until 1787, Paterson devoted his energies to the law and stayed out 
of the public limelight. Then he was chosen to represent New 
Jersey at the Constitutional Convention, which he attended only 
until late July. Until then, he took notes of the proceedings. More 
importantly, he figured prominently because of his advocacy and 
co-authorship of the New Jersey, or Paterson, Plan, which 
asserted the rights of the small States against the large. He 
apparently returned to the Convention only to sign the final 
document. After supporting its ratification in New Jersey, he 
began a career in the new Government. 

In 1789 Paterson was elected to the U.S. Senate (1789-90), 
where he played a pivotal role in drafting the Judiciary Act of 
1789. His next position was Governor of his State (1790-93). 
During this time, he began work on the volume later published as 
Laws of the State of New Jersey (1800) and began to revise the 
rules and practices of the chancery and common law courts. 

During the years 1793-1806, Paterson served as an Associate 
Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Riding the grueling circuit to 
which Federal judges were subjected in those days and sitting 
with the full Court, he presided over a number of major trials. 

In September 1806, his health failing, the 60-year-old Paterson 
embarked on a journey to Ballston Spa, N.Y., for a cure but died 
en route at Albany in the home of his daughter, who had married 
Stephen Van Rensselaer. Paterson was at first laid to rest in the 
nearby Van Rensselaer manor house family vault, but later his 
body was apparently moved to the Albany Rural Cemetery, 
Menands, N.Y. 


Charles Pinckney 


Only 29 years old In 1787, Pinckney 
was one of the youngest and most 
able delegates at Philadelphia. During 
the course of a long political career, 
he forswore his aristocratic 
background and championed Carolina 
back-country democracy. He 
governed South Carolina for four 
terms and also served as U.S. Senator 
and Representative, as well as 
Minister to Spain. 

Charles Pinckney, the second cousin of fellow-signer Charles 
Cotesworth Pinckney, was born at Charleston, S.C., in 1757. His 
father, Col. Charles Pinckney, was a rich lawyer and planter, who 
on his death in 1782 was to bequeath Snee Farm, a country estate 
outside the city, to his son Charles. The latter apparently received 
all his education in the city of his birth, and he started to practice 
law there in 1779. 

About that time, well after the War for Independence had begun, 
though his father demonstrated ambivalence about the Revolu- 
tion, young Pinckney enlisted in the militia, became a lieutenant, 
and served at the siege of Savannah (September -October 1779). 
When Charleston fell to the British the next year, the youth was 
captured and remained a prisoner until June 1781. 

Meantime, Pinckney had begun a political career, serving in the 
Continental Congress (1777-78 and 1784-87) and in the State 
legislature (1779-80, 1786-89, and 1792-96). A nationalist, he 
worked hard in Congress to insure that the United States would 
receive navigation rights to the Mississippi and to strengthen 
congressional power. 

Pinckney's role in the Constitutional Convention is controver- 
sial. Although he was the second youngest delegate, he later 
claimed to have been the most influential one and contended he 


had submitted a draft that was the basis of the final Constitution. 
Most historians have rejected this assertion. They do, however, 
recognize that he ranked among the leaders. He attended full time, 
spoke often and effectively, and contributed immensely to the 
final draft and to the resolution of problems that arose during the 
debates. He also worked for ratification in South Carolina (1788). 
That same year, he married Mary Eleanor Laurens, daughter of a 
wealthy and politically powerful South Carolina merchant; she 
was to bear at least three children. 

Subsequently, Pinckney's career blossomed. From 1789 to 1792 
he held the governorship of South Carolina, and in 1790 chaired 
the State constitutional convention. During this period, he became 
associated with the Federalist Party, in which he and his cousin 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney were leaders. But, with the passage 
of time, the former's views began to change. In 1795 he attacked 
the Federalist-backed Jay's Treaty, and increasingly began to 
cast his lot with Carolina back-country Democratic-Republicans 
against his own eastern aristocracy. In 1796 he became Governor 
once again, and 1798 his Democratic-Republican supporters 
helped him win a seat in the U.S. Senate. There, he bitterly 
opposed his former party, and in the Presidential election of 1800 
served as Thomas Jefferson's campaign manager in South 

The victorious Jefferson appointed Pinckney as Minister to 
Spain (1801-5), in which capacity he struggled valiantly but 
unsuccessfully to win cession of the Floridas to the United States 
and facilitated Spanish acquiescence in the transfer of Louisiana 
from France to the United States in 1803. 

Upon completion of his diplomatic mission, his ideas moving 
ever closer to democracy, Pinckney headed back to Charleston 
and to leadership of the State Democratic-Republican Party. He 
sat in the legislature in 1805-6 and then was again elected as 
Governor (1806-8). In this position, he favored legislative 
reapportionment, giving better representation to back-country 
districts, and advocated universal white manhood suffrage. He 
served again in the legislature from 1810 to 1814, and then 
temporarily withdrew from politics. In 1818 he won election to the 
U.S. House of Representatives, where he fought against the 
Missouri Compromise. 

In 1821, Pinckney's health beginning to fail, he retired for the 


last time from politics. He died in 1824, just 3 days after his 67th 
birthday. He was laid to rest in Charleston at St. Philip's 
Episcopal Churchyard. 

Charles Cotesworth 


Utilizing his exceptional education and 
continuing the public service of his 
distinguished parents, planter-lawyer- 
Pinckney became one of the 
outstanding men of his time. During 
the Revolution, he espoused the Whig 
cause; bore arms during the War for 
Independence; and ranked among the 
leaders at the Constitutional 
Convention. Besides serving in the 
State legislature, he rendered 
diplomatic service to the Nation, and 
was once the Vice-Presidential and 
twice the Presidential candidate of the 

The eldest son of a politically prominent planter and a 
remarkable mother who introduced and promoted indigo culture 
in South Carolina, Charles Cotesworth was born in 1746 at 
Charleston. Only 7 years later, he accompanied his father, who 
had been appointed colonial agent for South Carolina, to 
England. As a result, the youth enjoyed a European education. 

Pinckney received tutoring in London, attended several prepar- 
atory schools, and went on to Christ Church College, Oxford, 
where he heard the lectures of the legal authority Sir William 
Blackstone and graduated in 1764. Pinckney next pursued legal 
training at London's Middle Temple and was accepted for 
admission into the English bar in 1769. He then spent part of a 
year touring Europe and studying chemistry, military science, and 
botany under leading authorities. 

Late in 1769, Pinckney sailed home, and the next year entered 
practice in South Carolina. His political career began in 1769, 
when he was elected to the provincial assembly. In 1773 he acted 


as attorney general for several towns in the colony. By 1775 he 
had identified with the patriot cause and that year sat in the 
provincial congress. Then, the next year, he was elected to the 
local committee of safety and made chairman of a committee that 
drew up a plan for the interim government of South Carolina. 

When hostilities broke out, Pinckney who had been a royal 
militia officer since 1769, pursued a full-time military calling. 
When South Carolina organized its forces in 1775, he joined the 
First South Carolina Regiment as a captain. He soon rose to the 
rank of colonel and fought in the South in defense of Charleston 
and in the North at the Battles of Brandy wine, Pa., and 
Germantown, Pa. He commanded a regiment in the campaign 
against the British in the Floridas in 1778 and at the siege of 
Savannah. When Charleston fell in 1780, he was taken prisoner 
and held until 1782. The following year, he was discharged as a 
brevet brigadier general. 

After the war, Pinckney resumed his legal practice and the 
management of estates in the Charleston area but found time to 
continue his public service, which during the war had included 
tours in the lower house of the State legislature (1778 and 1782) 
and the senate (1779). 

Pinckney was one of the leaders at the Constitutional Conven- 
tion. Present at all the sessions, he strongly advocated a powerful 
national Government. His proposal that Senators should serve 
without pay was not adopted, but he exerted influence in such 
matters as the power of the Senate to ratify treaties and the 
compromise that was reached concerning abolition of the 
international slave trade. After the Convention, he defended the 
Constitution in South Carolina. 

Under the new Government, Pinckney became a devoted 
Federalist. Between 1789 and 1795 he declined Presidential offers 
to command the U.S. Army and to serve on the Supreme Court 
and as Secretary of War and Secretary of State. In 1796, however, 
he accepted the post of Minister to France, but the revolutionary 
regime there refused to receive him and he was forced to proceed 
to the Netherlands. The next year, though, he returned to France 
when he was appointed to a special mission to restore relations 
with that country. During the ensuing XYZ affair, refusing to pay 
a bribe suggested by a French agent to facilitate negotiations, he 
is said to have replied "No! No! Not a sixpence!" 


When Pinckney arrived back in the United States in 1798, he 
found the country preparing for war with France. That year, he 
was appointed as a major general in command of American forces 
in the South and served in that capacity until 1800, when the 
threat of war ended. That year, he represented the Federalists as 
Vice-Presidential candidate, and in 1804 and 1808 as the 
Presidential nominee. But he met defeat on all three occasions. 

For the rest of his life, Pinckney engaged in legal practice, 
served at times in the legislature, and engaged in philanthropic 
activities. He was a charter member of the board of trustees of 
South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina), 
first president of the Charleston Bible Society, and chief executive 
of the Charleston Library Society. He also gained prominence in 
the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of ex-War for 
Independence officers. 

During the later period of his life, Pinckney enjoyed his Belmont 
estate and Charleston high society. He was twice married; first to 
Sarah Middleton in 1773, and after her death to Mary Stead in 
1786. Survived by three daughters, he died in Charleston in 1825 
at the age of 79. He was interred there in the cemetery at St. 
Michael's Episcopal Church. 

George Read 


Conservative lawyer-jurist George 
Read attained many State offices and 
signed both the Constitution and the 
Declaration of Independence. At the 
Convention, he naturally defended the 
rights of the small States. Later, he 
served as a Senator in the First 
Congress, and ended his career as the 
chief justice of Delaware. 


Read's mother was the daughter of a Welsh planter, and his 
Dublin-born father a landholder of means. Soon after George's 
birth in 1733 near the village of North East in Cecil County, Md., 
his family moved to New Castle, Del., where the youth, who was 
one of six sons, grew up. He attended school at Chester, Pa., and 
Rev. Francis Alison's academy at New London, Pa., and about the 
age of 15 began reading with a Philadelphia lawyer. 

In 1753 Read was admitted to the bar and began to practice. The 
next year, he journeyed back to New Castle, hung out his shingle, 
and before long enlisted a clientele that extended into Maryland. 
During this period he resided in New Castle, but maintained 
Stonum, a country retreat near the city. In 1763 he wed Gertrude 
Ross Till, the widowed sister of George Ross, like Read a future 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. She bore four sons and 
a daughter. 

While crown attorney general (1763-74) for the Three Lower 
Counties (present Delaware), Read protested against the Stamp 
Act. In 1765 he began a career in the colonial legislature that lasted 
more than a decade. A moderate Whig, he supported nonimporta- 
tion measures and dignified protests. His attendance at the 
Continental Congress (1774-77) was irregular. Like his friend John 
Dickinson, he was willing to protect colonial rights but was wary of 
extremism. He voted against independence on July 2, 1776, the only 
signer of the Declaration to do so, apparently either bowing to the 
strong Tory sentiment in Delaware or believing reconciliation with 
Britain was still possible. 

That same year, Read gave priority to State responsibilities. He 
presided over the Delaware constitutional convention, in which he 
chaired the drafting committee, and began a term as speaker of the 
legislative council, which in effect made him vice president of the 
State. When the British took Wilmington the next fall, they 
captured the president, a resident of the city. At first, because Read 
was away in Congress, Thomas McKean, speaker of the lower 
house, took over as acting president. But in November, after barely 
escaping from the British himself while he and his family were en 
route to Dover from Philadelphia, newly occupied by the redcoats, 
Read assumed the office and held it until the spring of 1778. Back in 
the legislative council, in 1779 he drafted the act directing 
Delaware congressional Delegates to sign the Articles of Confeder- 


During 1779, in poor health, Read resigned from the legislative 
council, refused reelection to Congress, and began a period of 
inactivity. During the years 1782-88, he again sat on the council 
and concurrently held the position of judge of the court of appeals 
in admiralty cases. 

Meantime, in 1784, Read had served on a commission that 
adjusted New York -Massachusetts land claims. In 1786 he 
attended the Annapolis Convention. The next year, he participated 
in the Constitutional Convention, where he missed few if any 
sessions and championed the rights of the small States. Otherwise, 
he adopted a Hamiltonian stance, favoring a strong executive. He 
later led the ratification movement in Delaware, the first State to 

In the U.S. Senate (1789-93), Read's attendance was again 
spasmodic, but when present he allied with the Federalists. He 
resigned to accept the post of chief justice of Delaware. He held it 
until his death at New Castle 5 years later, just 3 days after he 
celebrated his 65th birthday. His grave is there in the Immanuel 
Episcopal Churchyard. 

John Rutledge 


Aristocratic lawyer-jurist Rutledge, a 
political moderate, headed the 
committee of detail and stood in the 
forefront of the delegates at 
Philadelphia. Other highlights of his 
public service included legislator and 
president of his State, Member of the 
Continental Congress, and short 
periods on the U.S. Supreme Court 

John Rutledge, elder brother of Edward Rutledge, signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, was born into a large family at or 


near Charleston, S.C., in 1739. He received his early education 
from his father, an Irish immigrant and physician; an Anglican 
minister; and a tutor. After studying law at London's Middle 
Temple, in 1760, he was admitted to English practice. But, almost 
at once, he sailed back to Charleston to begin a fruitful legal 
career and to amass a fortune in plantations and slaves. Three 
years later, he married Elizabeth Grimke, who eventually bore 
him 10 children, and moved into a townhouse, where he resided 
most of the remainder of his life. 

In 1761 Rutledge became politically active. That year, on behalf 
of Christ Church Parish, he was elected to the provincial 
assembly and held his seat until the War for Independence. For 10 
months in 1764 he temporarily held the post of provincial attorney 
general. When the troubles with Great Britain intensified about 
the time of the Stamp Act in 1765, Rutledge, who hoped to insure 
continued self-government for the Colonies, sought to avoid 
severance from the British and maintained a restrained stance. 
He did, however, chair a committee of the Stamp Act Congress 
that drew up a petition to the House of Lords. 

In 1774 Rutledge was sent to the First Continental Congress, 
where he pursued a moderate course. After spending the next year 
in the Second Continental Congress, he trekked back to South 
Carolina and helped reorganize its government. In 1776 he served 
on the committee of safety and took part in the writing of the 
State constitution. That year, he also became president of the 
lower house of the legislature, a post he held until 1778. During 
this period, the new government met many stern tests. 

In 1778 the conservative Rutledge, disapproving of democratic 
revisions in the State constitution, resigned his position. The next 
year, however, he was elected as Governor. It was a difficult time. 
The British were invading South Carolina and the military 
situation was desperate. Early in 1780, by which time the 
legislature had adjourned, Charleston was besieged. In May it fell, 
the American army was captured, and the British confiscated 
Rutledge's property. He ultimately escaped to North Carolina and 
set about attempting to rally forces to recover South Carolina. In 
1781, aided by Gen. Nathaniel Greene and a new Continental 
Army force, he reestablished the government. In January 1782 he 
resigned the governorship and took a seat in the lower house of 
the legislature. He never recouped the financial losses he suffered 
during the war. 
In 1782-83 Rutledge was a Delegate to the Continental 


Congress. He next sat on the State chancery court (1784) and 
again in the lower house of the legislature (1784-90). One of the 
most influential delegates at the Constitutional Convention, 
where he maintained a moderate nationalist stance and chaired 
the committee of detail, he attended all the sessions; spoke often 
and effectively; and served on five committees. Like his fellow 
South Carolina delegates, he vigorously advocated southern 

The new Government under the Constitution soon lured 
Rutledge. He was a Presidential elector in 1789 and Washington 
then appointed him as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme 
Court, but for some reason he apparently served only a short time. 
In 1791 he became chief justice of the South Carolina supreme 
court. Four years later, Washington again appointed him to the 
U.S. Supreme Court, this time as Chief Justice to replace John 
Jay. But Rutledge's outspoken opposition to Jay's Treaty (1794), 
and the intermittent mental illness he had suffered from since the 
death of his wife in 1792, caused the Federalist-dominated Senate 
to reject his appointment and end his public career. Meantime, 
however, he had presided over one term of the Court. 

Rutledge died in 1800 at the age of 60 and was interred at St. 
Michael's Episcopal Church in Charleston. 

Roger Sherman 


By dint of self-education, hard work, 
and business acumen, Roger Sherman 
soared above his humble origins to 
prominence in State and National 
affairs. He was a member of the 
committee that drafted the Declaration 
of Independence, and played a leading 
role at the Constitutional Convention. 
He and Robert Morris were the only 
men to sign the three bulwark 
documents of the Republic: the 
Declaration, Articles of Confederation, 
and Constitution. Twice married, 
Sherman fathered 15 children. 


In 1723, when Sherman was 2 years of age, his family relocated 
from his Newton, Mass., birthplace to Dorchester (present 
Stoughton). As a boy, he was spurred by a desire to learn and read 
widely in his spare time to supplement his minimal education at a 
common school. But he spent most of his waking hours helping 
his father with farming chores and learning the cobbler's trade 
from him. In 1743, or 2 years after his father's death, Sherman 
joined an elder brother who had settled in New Milford, Conn. 

Purchasing a store, becoming a county surveyor, and winning a 
variety of town offices, Sherman prospered and assumed leader- 
ship in the community. In 1749 he married Elizabeth Hartwell, by 
whom he had seven children. Without benefit of a formal legal 
education, he was admitted to the bar in 1754 and embarked upon 
a distinguished judicial and political career. In the period 1755-61, 
except for a brief interval, he served as a representative in the 
colonial legislature and held the offices of justice of the peace and 
county judge. Somehow he also eked out time to publish an essay 
on monetary theory and a series of almanacs incorporating his 
own astronomical observations and verse. 

In 1761, abandoning his law practice, Sherman moved to New 
Haven, Conn. There, he managed a store that catered to Yale 
students and another in nearby Wallingford. He also became a 
friend and benefactor of Yale College, functioning for many years 
as its treasurer. In 1763, or 3 years after the death of his first wife, 
he wed Rebecca Prescott, who bore eight children. 

Meanwhile, Sherman's political career had blossomed. He rose 
from justice of the peace and county judge to an associate judge of 
the Connecticut Superior Court and to representative in both 
houses of the colonial assembly. Although opposed to extremism, 
he early joined the fight against Britain. He supported nonimpor- 
tation measures and headed the New Haven committee of 

Sherman was a longtime and influential Member of the 
Continental Congress (1774-81 and 1783-84). He won member- 
ship on the committees that drafted the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and the Articles of Confederation, as well as those 
concerned with Indian affairs, national finances, and military 
matters. To solve economic problems, at both National and State 
levels, he advocated high taxes rather than excessive borrowing 
or the issuance of paper currency. 


While in Congress, Sherman remained active in State and local 
politics, continuing to hold the office of judge of the Connecticut 
Superior Court, as well as membership on the council of safety 
(1777-79). In 1783 he helped codify Connecticut's statutory laws. 
The next year, he was elected as mayor of New Haven (1784-86). 

Although on the edge of insolvency, mainly because of wartime 
losses, Sherman could not resist the lure of national service. In 
1787 he represented his State at the Constitutional Convention, 
and attended practically every session. Not only did he sit on the 
committee on postponed matters, but he also probably helped 
draft the New Jersey Plan and was a prime mover behind the 
Connecticut, or Great, Compromise, which broke the deadlock 
between the large and small States over representation. He was, in 
addition, instrumental in Connecticut's ratification of the 

Sherman capped his career by serving as U.S. Representative 
(1789-91) and Senator (1791-93), in which positions he espoused the 
Federalist cause. He died at New Haven in 1793 at the age of 72 
and is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery. 

Richard Dobbs 
Spaight, Sr. 


During a short career that ended in a 
tragic duel, Spaight, an aristocratic 
planter who was one of the youngest 
signers, held many major political 
posts: legislator and Governor of 
North Carolina, Member of the 
Continental Congress, and U.S. 
Representative. He was the first 
native-born Governor of his State. 


Of distinguished English-Irish parentage, Spaight was born at 
New Bern, N.C., in 1758. When he was orphaned at 8 years of age, 
his guardians sent him to Ireland, where he obtained an excellent 
education. He apparently graduated from Scotland's University of 
Glasgow shortly before he returned to North Carolina in 1778. 

At that time, the War for Independence was in full swing, and 
Spaight's superior attainments soon gained him a commission. He 
became an aide to the State militia commander, and in 1780 took 
part in the Battle of Camden, S.C. The year before, he had been 
elected to the lower house of the legislature. 

In 1781 Spaight left the military service to devote full time to his 
legislative duties. He represented New Bern and Craven County 
from 1781-83 and from 1785-87, and in 1785 became speaker. 
Between tours, he also served in the Continental Congress (1783- 

In 1787, at the age of 29, Spaight joined the North Carolina 
delegation to the Philadelphia Convention. He was not a leader, 
but spoke on several occasions and numbered among those who 
attended every session. After the Convention, he worked in his 
home State for acceptance of the Constitution. 

Spaight met defeat in bids for the governorship in 1787 and the 
U.S. Senate 2 years later. From then until 1792, illness forced his 
retirement from public life, during which time he visited the West 
Indies, but he captured the governorship in the latter year (1792- 
95). In 1793 he served as Presidential elector. Two years later, he 
wed Mary Leach, who bore three children. 

In 1798 Spaight entered the U.S. House of Representatives as a 
Democratic-Republican and remained in office until 1801. During 
this time, he advocated repeal of the Alien and Sedition Acts and 
voted for Jefferson in the contested election of 1800. The next year, 
Spaight was voted into the lower house of the North Carolina 
legislature; the following year, to the upper. 

Only 44 years old in 1802, Spaight was struck down in a duel at 
New Bern with a political rival, Federalist John Stanly. So ended 
the promising career of one of the State's foremost leaders. He was 
buried in the family sepulcher at Clermont estate, near New Bern. 


George Washington 


Peerless military leader of the War for 
Independence, able chairman of the 
Constitutional Convention, brilliant 
first President, and wise statesman, 
Washington more than any other man 
launched our Republic on its course to 
greatness. For all these reasons, he 
clearly deserves the epithet "Father of 
His Country." 

Born into the landed gentry as the eldest of six children from 
his father's second marriage, George Washington first saw the 
light of life in 1732 at Wakefield Plantation, Va. Until reaching 16 
years of age, he lived there and at other plantations along the 
Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, including the one that later 
became known as Mount Vernon. His education was rudimentary, 
probably being obtained from tutors but possibly also from 
private schools, and he learned surveying. After he lost his father 
when he was 11 years old, his half-brother Lawrence, who had 
served in the Royal Navy, acted as his mentor. As a result, the 
youth acquired an interest in pursuing a naval career, but his 
mother discouraged him from doing so. 

At the age of 16, in 1748, Washington joined a surveying party 
sent out to the Shenandoah Valley by Lord Fairfax, a land baron. 
For the next few years, Washington conducted surveys in Virginia 
and present West Virginia, and gained a lifetime interest in the 
West. In 1751-52 he also accompanied Lawrence on a visit he 
made to Barbados, West Indies, for health reasons just prior to his 

The next year, Washington began his military Career when the 
Royal Governor appointed him to an adjutantship in the militia, 
as a major. That same year, as a gubernatorial emissary, 


accompanied by a guide, he traveled to Fort Le Boeuf, Pa., in the 
Ohio River Valley, and delivered to French authorities an 
ultimatum to cease fortification and settlement in English 
territory. During the trip, he tried to better British relations with 
various Indian tribes. 

In 1754, winning the rank of lieutenant colonel and then colonel 
in the militia, Washington led a force that sought to challenge 
French control of the Ohio River Valley, but met defeat at Fort 
Necessity, Pa. — an event that helped trigger the French and 
Indian War (1754-63). Late in 1754, irked by the dilution of 
his rank because of the pending arrival of British regulars, he 
resigned his commission. That same year, he leased Mount 
Vernon, which he was to inherit in 1761. 

In 1755 Washington reentered military service with the courtesy 
title of colonel, as an aide to Gen. Edward Braddock; and barely 
escaped death when the French defeated the general's forces in 
the Battle of the Monongahela, Pa. As a reward for his bravery, 
George rewon his colonelcy and command of the Virginia militia 
forces, charged with defending the colony's frontier. Because of 
the shortage of men and equipment, he found the assignment 
challenging. Late in 1758 or early in 1759, disillusioned over 
governmental neglect of the militia and irritated at not rising in 
rank, he resigned and headed back to Mount Vernon. 

Washington then wed Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy 
widow and mother of two children. The marriage produced no 
offspring, but Washington reared those of his wife as his own. 
During the period 1759-74, he managed his plantations and sat in 
the Virginia House of Burgesses. He supported the initial protests 
against British policies; took an active part in the nonimportation 
movement in Virginia; and, in time, particularly because of his 
military experience, became a Whig leader. 

By the 1770's, relations of the colony with the mother country 
had become strained. Measured in his behavior but strongly 
sympathetic to the Whig position and resentful of British 
restrictions and commercial exploitation, Washington represented 
Virginia at the First and Second Continental Congresses. In 1775, 
after the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord, Congress appoint- 
ed him as commander in chief of the Continental Army. 
Overcoming severe obstacles, especially in supply, he eventually 
fashioned a well-trained and disciplined fighting force. 


The strategy Washington evolved consisted of continual 
harassment of British forces while avoiding general actions. 
Although his troops yielded much ground and lost a number of 
battles, they persevered — even during the dark winters at Valley 
Forge, Pa., and Morristown, N.J. Finally, with the aid of the 
French fleet and army, he won a climactic victory at the Battle of 
Yorktown, Va., in 1781. 

During the next 2 years, while still commanding the agitated 
Continental Army, which was underpaid and poorly supplied, 
Washington denounced proposals that the military take over the 
Government, including one that planned to appoint him as king, 
but supported Army petitions to the Continental Congress for 
proper compensation. Once the Treaty of Paris (1783) was signed, 
he resigned his commission and trekked back once again to Mount 
Vernon. His wartime financial sacrifices and long absence, as well 
as generous loans to friends, had severely impaired his extensive 
fortune, which consisted mainly of his plantations, slaves, and 
landholdings in the West. At this point, however, he was to have 
little time to repair his finances, for his retirement was brief. 

Dissatisfied with national progress under the Articles of 
Confederation, Washington advocated a stronger central Govern- 
ment. He hosted the Mount Vernon Conference (1785) at his estate 
after its initial meetings in Alexandria, though he apparently did 
not directly participate in the discussions. Despite his sympathy 
with the goals of the Annapolis Convention (1786), he did not 
attend. But, the following year, encouraged by many of his friends, 
he presided over the Constitutional Convention, whose success was 
immeasurably influenced by his presence and dignity. Following 
ratification of the new instrument of Government in 1788, the 
electoral college unanimously chose him as the first President. 

The next year, after a triumphal journey from Mount Vernon to 
New York City, Washington took the oath of office at Federal Hall. 
During his two precedent-setting terms, he governed with dignity 
as well as restraint. He also provided the stability and authority 
the emergent Nation so sorely needed, gave substance to the 
Constitution, and reconciled competing factions and divergent 
policies within the Government and his administration. Although 
not averse to exercising Presidential power, he respected the role of 
Congress and did not infringe upon its prerogatives. He also tried 


Mount Vernon, probably in the 1830's, viewed from the rear, or land, side. 

to maintain harmony between his Secretary of State Thomas 
Jefferson and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, 
whose differences typified evolving party divisions, from which 
Washington kept aloof. 

Yet, usually leaning upon Hamilton for advice, Washington 
supported his plan for the assumption of State debts, concurred in 
the constitutionality of the bill establishing the Bank of the United 
States, and favored enactment of tariffs by Congress to provide 
Federal revenue and protect domestic manufacturers. 

Washington took various other steps to strengthen governmental 
authority, including suppression of the Whisky Rebellion (1794). To 
unify the country, he toured the Northeast in 1789 and the South in 
1791. During his tenure, the Government moved from New York to 
Philadelphia in 1790, he superintended planning for relocation to 
the District of Columbia, and he laid the cornerstone of the Capitol 

In foreign affairs, despite opposition from the Senate, Washing- 
ton exerted dominance. He fostered United States interests on the 


North American Continent by treaties with Britain and Spain. Yet, 
until the Nation was stronger, he insisted on the maintenance of 
neutrality. For example, when the French Revolution created war 
between France and Britain, he ignored the remonstrances of pro- 
French Jefferson and pro-English Hamilton. 

Although many people encouraged Washington to seek a third 
term, he was weary of politics and refused to do so. In his "Farewell 
Address" (1796), he urged his countrymen to forswear party spirit 
and sectional differences and to avoid entanglement in the wars 
and domestic policies of other nations. 

Washington enjoyed only a few years of retirement at Mount 
Vernon. Even then, demonstrating his continued willingness to 
make sacrifices for his country, in 1798 when the Nation was on the 
verge of war with France he agreed to command the Army, though 
his services were not ultimately required. He died at the age of 67 in 
1799. In his will, he emancipated his slaves. 

Hugh Williamson 


Few men have enjoyed so varied a 
career as Hugh Williamson— preacher, 
physician, essayist, scientist, 
businessman, and politician. He 
traveled and studied in Europe, 
witnessed the Boston Tea Party, 
participated in the Revolution, served 
as a U.S. Congressman, and 
numbered among the leading 
scientific authors of his day. In 
addition to all these achievements, he 
was one of the leading lights at the 
Constitutional Convention. 

The versatile Williamson was born of Scotch-Irish descent at 
West Nottingham, Pa., in 1735. He was the eldest son in a large 
family, whose head was a clothier. Hoping he would become a 
Presbyterian minister, his parents oriented his education toward 
that calling. After attending preparatory schools at New London 


Cross Roads, Del., and Newark, Del., he entered the first class of 
the College of Philadelphia (later part of the University of 
Pennsylvania) and took his degree in 1757. 

The next 2 years, at Shippensburg, Pa., Williamson spent 
settling his father's estate. Then training in Connecticut for the 
ministry, he soon became a licensed Presbyterian preacher but 
was never ordained. Around this time, he also took a position as 
professor of mathematics at his alma mater. 

In 1764 Williamson abandoned these pursuits and studied 
medicine at Edinburgh, London, and Utrecht, eventually obtain- 
ing a degree from the University of Utrecht. Returning to 
Philadelphia, he began to practice, but found it to be emotionally 
exhausting. His pursuit of scientific interests continued, and in 
1768 he became a member of the American Philosophical Society. 
The next year, he served on a commission that observed the 
transits of Venus and Mercury. In 1771 he wrote An Essay on 
Comets, in which he advanced several original ideas. As a result, 
the University of Leyden awarded him an LL.D. degree. 

In 1773, to raise money for an academy in Newark, Del., 
Williamson made a trip to the West Indies and then to Europe. 
Sailing from Boston, he saw the Tea Party and carried news of it 
to London. When the British Privy Council called on him to testify 
as to what he had seen, he warned the councilors that the 
Colonies would rebel if the British did not change their policies. 
While in England, he struck up a close friendship with fellow- 
scientist Benjamin Franklin and they cooperated in electrical 
experiments. Moreover, Williamson furnished to Franklin the 
letters of the Massachusetts Royal Governor, Thomas Hutchin- 
son, to his Lieutenant Governor that tended to further alienate the 
mother country and Colonies and created a sensation in America. 

In 1775 a pamphlet Williamson had authored while in England, 
called The Plea of the Colonies, was published. It solicited the 
support of the English Whigs for the American cause. When the 
United States proclaimed their independence the next year, 
Williamson was in the Netherlands. He soon sailed back to the 
United States, settling first in Charleston, S.C., and then in 
Eden ton, N.C. There, he prospered in a mercantile business that 
traded with the French West Indies and once again took up the 
practice of medicine. 

Williamson applied for a medical post with the patriot forces, 


but found all such positions filled. The Governor of North 
Carolina, however, soon called on his specialized skills, and he 
became surgeon-general of State troops. After the Battle of 
Camden, S.C., he frequently crossed British lines to tend to the 
wounded. He also prevented sickness among the troops by paying 
close attention to food, clothing, shelter, and hygiene. 

After the war, Williamson began his political career. In 1782 he 
was elected to the lower house of the State legislature and to the 
Continental Congress. Three years later, he left Congress and 
returned to his legislative seat. In 1786 he was chosen to represent 
his State at the Annapolis Convention, but arrived too late to take 
part. The next year, he again served in Congress (1787-89) and 
was -chosen as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. 
Attending faithfully and demonstrating keen debating skill, he 
served on five committees, notably on the committee on postponed 
matters, and played a significant part in the proceedings, 
particularly the major compromise on representation. 

After the Convention, Williamson worked for ratification of the 
Constitution in North Carolina. In 1788 he was chosen to settle 
outstanding accounts between the State and the Federal Govern- 
ment. The next year, he was elected to the first U.S. House of 
Representatives, where he served two terms. In 1789 he married 
Maria Apthorpe, who bore at least two sons. 

In 1793 Williamson moved to New York City to facilitate his 
literary and philanthropic pursuits. Over the years, he published 
many political, educational, economic, historical, and scientific 
works, but the latter earned him the most praise. The University 
of Leyden awarded him an honorary degree. In addition, he was 
an original trustee of the University of North Carolina, and later 
held trusteeships at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and 
the University of the State of New York. He was also a founder of 
the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York and a 
prominent member of the New-York Historical Society. 

In 1819, at the age of 83, Williamson died in New York City and 
was buried at Trinity Church. 


James Wilson 


Brilliant and enigmatic James Wilson 
possessed one of the most complex 
and ambivalent personalities of the 
signers. Never able to reconcile his 
strong personal drive for wealth and 
power with his political goals nor find 
a middle road between conservatism 
and republicanism, he alternately 
experienced either popularity or public 
scorn, fame or obscurity, wealth or 
poverty. He signed both the 
Declaration of Independence and the 
Constitution. His mastery of the law 
and political theory enabled him to 
play a leading role in framing the latter 
document and to rise from frontier 
lawyer to Justice of the Supreme 

Wilson was born in 1741 or 1742 at Carskerdo, near St. 
Andrews, Scotland, and educated at the Universities of St. 
Andrews, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. He then emigrated to 
America, arriving in the midst of the Stamp Act agitations in 
1765. Early the next year, he accepted a position as Latin tutor at 
the College of Philadelphia (later part of the University of 
Pennsylvania), but almost immediately abandoned it to study law 
under John Dickinson. 

In 1768, the year after his admission to the Philadelphia bar, 
Wilson set up practice at Reading, Pa. Two years later, he moved 
westward to the Scotch-Irish settlement of Carlisle, and the 
following year took a bride, Rachel Bird. He specialized in land 
law and built up a broad clientele. On borrowed capital, he also 
began to speculate in land. In some way he managed, too, to 
lecture on English literature at the College of Philadelphia, which 
had awarded him an honorary master of arts degree in 1766. 

Wilson became involved in Revolutionary politics. In 1774 he 
took over chairmanship of the Carlisle committee of correspond- 
ence, attended the first provincial assembly, and completed 
preparation of Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the 
Legislative Authority of the British Parliament. This tract 
circulated widely in England and America and established him as 
a Whig leader. 


The next year, Wilson was elected to both the provincial 
assembly and the Continental Congress, where he sat mainly on 
military and Indian affairs committees. In 1776, reflecting the 
wishes of his constituents, he joined the moderates in Congress 
voting for a 3-week delay in considering Richard Henry Lee's 
resolution for independence of June 7. On the July 1 and 2 ballots 
on the issue, however, he voted in the affirmative and signed the 
Declaration of Independence on August 2. 

Wilson's strenuous opposition to the republican Pennsylvania 
constitution of 1776, besides indicating a switch to conservatism 
on his part, led to his removal from Congress the following year. 
To avoid the clamor among his frontier constituents, he repaired 
to Annapolis during the winter of 1777-78, and then took up 
residence in Philadelphia. 

Wilson affirmed his newly assumed political stance by closely 
identifying with the aristocratic and conservative republican 
groups, multiplying his business interests, and accelerating his 
land speculation. He also took a position as Advocate General for 
France in America (1779-83), dealing with commercial and 
maritime matters, and legally defended Loyalists and their 

In the fall of 1779, during a period of inflation and food 
shortages, a mob, including many militiamen and led by radical- 
constitutionalists, set out to attack the republican leadership. 
Wilson was a prime target. He and some 35 of his colleagues 
barricaded themselves in his home at Third and Walnut Streets, 
henceforth known as "Fort Wilson." During a brief skirmish, 
several people on both sides were killed or wounded. The shock 
cooled sentiments and pardons were issued all around, though 
major political battles over the Commonwealth constitution still 
lay ahead. 

During 1781 Congress appointed Wilson as one of the directors 
of the Bank of North America, newly founded by his close 
associate and legal client Robert Morris. In 1782-83, by which 
time the conservatives had regained some of their power, the 
former was reelected to Congress, as well as in the period 1785-87. 

Wilson reached the apex of his career in the Constitutional 
Convention (1787), where his influence was probably second only 
to that of Madison. Rarely missing a session, he sat on the 
committee of detail, and in many other ways applied his excellent 


knowledge of political theory to Convention problems. Only 
Gouverneur Morris delivered more speeches. 

That same year, overcoming powerful opposition, Wilson led the 
drive for ratification in Pennsylvania, the second State to endorse 
the instrument. The new Commonwealth constitution, drafted in 
1789-90 along the lines of the U.S. Constitution, was primarily 
Wilson's work and represented the climax of his 14-year fight 
against the constitution of 1776. 

For his services in the formation of the Federal Government, 
though Wilson expected to be appointed Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court, in 1789 President Washington named him as an 
Associate Justice. He was chosen that same year as the first law 
professor at the College of Philadelphia. Two years hence, he 
began an official digest of the laws of Pennsylvania, a project he 
never completed, though he carried on for awhile after funds ran 

Wilson, who wrote only a few opinions, did not achieve the 
success on the Supreme Court that his capabilities and experience 
promised. Indeed, during those years he was the object of much 
criticism and barely escaped impeachment. For one thing, he tried 
to influence the enactment of legislation in Pennsylvania 
favorable to land speculators. Between 1792 and 1795 he also 
made huge but unwise land investments in western New York and 
Pennsylvania, as well as in Georgia. This did not stop him from 
conceiving a grandiose but ill-fated scheme, involving vast sums 
of European capital, for the recruitment of European colonists and 
their settlement in the West. Meantime, in 1793, a widower with 
six children, he had remarried, to Hannah Gray; the one son from 
this union died in infancy. 

Four years later, to avoid arrest for debt, the distraught Wilson 
moved from Philadelphia to Burlington, N.J. The next year, 
apparently while on Federal Circuit Court business, he arrived at 
Edenton, N.C., in a state of acute mental stress and was taken 
into the home of James Iredell, a fellow Supreme Court Justice. He 
died there within a few months. Although first buried at Hayes 
Plantation near Edenton, his remains were later reinterred in the 
yard of Christ Church at Philadelphia. 

^art r Chre6 

Signers of the Constitution: 

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings 


C^Vr ike all the residences and buildings of early periods of U.S. 
history, those related to the signers of the Constitution have been 
ravaged by time. War, urbanization, and fire, among other causes, 
have destroyed every one of the structures associated with 19 of the 
39 men. The deleterious effects of weathering, aging, and neglect 
have damaged many others. Some have been extensively altered, 
including major revisions in architectural styles. 

In addition to these factors, which of course are detrimental to 
all historic buildings, two special ones have hampered the 
marking and preserving of signers' sites. Not until modern times 
has special reverence been bestowed upon many of these 
individuals, and those who did not enjoy national reputations 
other than as signers have received little historical recognition. 
Fortunately, the recent surge of interest in the formative era of our 
Nation, particularly that generated by the Bicentennial celebra- 
tion, has spurred preservation and restoration activity. 

Many of the surviving structures are of prime importance. Not 
only do they recreate the settings in which the signers lived and 
worked and demonstrate their lifestyles, but they also illuminate 
many aspects of the creation of the Constitution. The most 



notable survivor is Independence Hall (Independence National 
Historical Park, Pa.), in which it was conceived, debated, 
approved, and signed. The National Park Service administers the 
park in cooperation with the city of Philadelphia and various 
private agencies. 

Three other sites are also in the Park System: George 
Washington Birthplace National Monument, Va.; Hamilton 
Grange National Memorial, N.Y.; and Federal Hall National 
Memorial, N.Y. The latter commemorates the building where the 
Continental Congress issued the call for the Constitutional 
Convention, reviewed the completed instrument, and forwarded it 
to the States for ratification. George Washington was also 
inaugurated there as the first President under the Constitution. 

Nearly half the surviving homes of the signers are owned by 
private individuals. The rest are owned and maintained principal- 
ly by States, cities, and diverse nongovernmental institutions, 
such as patriotic-civic and fraternal organizations, memorial 
associations, local historical societies, and foundations. Most of 
these individuals and agencies have ably advanced the cause of 
historic preservation and restoration. 

Extant homes or residences with which the signers were 
significantly associated have not been located for 19 men, though 
many of the sites of such places have been marked. In this category 
are Baldwin, Brearly, Butler, Carroll, Few, Fitzsimons, Franklin, 
Gorham, Ingersoll, Johnson, McHenry, Mifflin, the two Morrises, 
Paterson, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Sherman, Spaight, and 
Williamson. Two signers, Bassett and Jenifer, are represented in 
this volume by structures (Bassett and Peggy Stewart Houses) they 
owned but in which they probably never resided. Ellerslie 
plantation was Jenifer's birthplace, but he may not have lived in 
the existing house, which belonged to his older brother. 

The signers have been honored in many other ways than by the 
preservation and marking of appropriate residences and buildings. 
The extent and form of such commemoration differ from signer to 
signer and from State to State. Monuments and memorials range 
from simple plaques to the Washington Monument, D.C., in the 
National Park System. Statues of several men are located in the 
U.S. Capitol. Not only is Madison, Wis., named after the "Father of 
the Constitution," but the principal streets in the older part of the 
city also bear the surnames of the men who subscribed to it. 


Numerous other cities, notably Washington, D.C., Dayton, Ohio, 
and Paterson, N.J., as well as the State of Washington, and various 
counties, schools, and natural features throughout the Nation also 
recognize specific individuals. Fort McHenry National Monument 
and Historic Shrine, Md., also in the Park System, honors a 
Maryland signer. 

DESCRIBED in the following pages are the principal buildings 
associated with the signers of the Constitution. They are comprised 
of three categories: National Park Service Areas, National Historic 
Landmarks, and Other Sites Considered. 

The principal aim of the National Survey of Historic Sites and 
Buildings is to identify nationally important sites that are not 
National Park Service Areas, but no survey of historic places would 
be complete without including them. This is particularly true 
because many of them were designated as National Historic 
Landmarks before they became part of the National Park System. 
Further information about a particular area may be obtained by 
writing directly to the park superintendent at the address listed 
immediately following the location. 

National Historic Landmarks are those sites judged by the 
Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings, and 
Monuments to meet the criteria of national significance in 
commemorating the history of the United States (pp. 327-328). The 
Secretary of the Interior has declared them to be eligible for 
designation as National Historic Landmarks. Final designation 
occurs when the owners apply for such status. They receive 
certificates and bronze plaques attesting to the distinction. 

Other Sites Considered consist of those sites deemed by the 
Advisory Board to possess noteworthy historical value but not 
national significance. The list of sites included in this category 
does not purport to be exhaustive; it is merely a representative 
sampling, all that is possible because of space limitation. 

Many sites in the Other Sites Considered category in all phases 
of history are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 
maintained by the National Park Service's Office of Archeology 
and Historic Preservation. The register consists not only of sites in 
the National Park System and National Historic Landmarks but 
also those of State and local significance, nominated through 
appropriate channels by various States. It is published biennially 


and distributed by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. 
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402. The latest 
volume is The National Register of Historic Places, Supplement, 
1974, price $9.45. 




N E w 


york r- MASS 

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^ Governor 

Jo hnLangdonWans.on 

m.i. : 


onal Memorial 

7;^ HamHton Grange Nat, 
| Fed era, Ha,. Nat^.Memor,^^ Manor 

Summerset Boxwood Hal. 


o h i o 

National Historica' Park ? 

Independence Nation* n.s House ^ Lomba rdy Hall 


Maryland State Housej^ \ \ John Dlckin son Mansion 
The White Housed 



Octagon House^ Veew Stewart House 
.. ^ Vernon & reg&y 

Mount * 
Montpelier A 

s George Washington Birthp.ace 

National Monument 


^ V I R G 1 N I A 

/ \ 


• 1 


A Blount Mansion 





Governor John Rutledge Housed Snee Farm 

C E O R G I A -v 




C A R O L I N A 











Sites in the National Park System 


National Historic Landmarks 

Present State boundaries 

100 200 300 


For the convenience of users of this volume, sites and buildings 
are listed alphabetically by State. The following code indicates 
site categories: 

Site Categories 


NOTE: Except where otherwise indicated, all the following sites 
are open to the public. Before visiting any of them, inquiry should 
be made to the owners or custodians concerning dates and hours 
of access and admission costs, usually nominal. Special permis- 
sion should be obtained to visit privately owned sites. 



Bassett (Richard) House, Delaware ® 

Kent County, 438 State Street, Dover. 

In 1804, while retired, Richard Bassett acquired this house at a 
foreclosure sale, and 5 years later purchased an adjoining lot. He 
owned both until a few months before his death in 1815. There is 
no conclusive evidence, however, that he ever lived in the 
residence and he may have rented it out. The wing, however, 
which an earlier owner had used as a shop, possibly served as his 
law office. The structure is the only extant one closely associated 
with Bassett. 

The gable-roofed, brick house, which probably dates from the 
early 18th century, is in good condition. It consists of a two-story, 
four-bay main section and a step-down, lVk-story, three-bay wing 
on the north along the same axis. The one-bay, wooden front 
porch, which is supported by four Doric columns, has a flat roof 
and dentiled cornice. Vergeboards, along the ends of both roofs, 
probably date from the Gothic Revival. Shutters are paneled on 
the first floor and louvered on the second. A rectangular transom 
tops the paneled front door of the wing. A one-story, screened 
porch, covered with a shed-type roof, projects from the rear of the 

Bassett House. 

tL-iS I 


The first floor of the main section contains a parlor to the south 
of a central staircase and two smaller rooms to the north. Two 
additional rooms are in the wing. A private residence, the house is 
open to the public only during the annual observance of "Dover 

Broom (Jacob) House, Delaware A 

New Castle County, about 1 mile northwest of the Wilmington city limits, 
just north of New Bridge Road (Del. 141), Montchanin. 

This is the only extant structure associated with Jacob Broom. It 
now comprises the north wing of a mansion also known as 
Hagley. In the 1790's Broom erected this residence near the west 
bank of the Brandywine River, not far from the site of his cotton 
mill, and lived in it until 1802. Broom's four-bay, 2V2-story house, 
of stone-stucco construction, is in good condition. It comprises an 
easily identifiable section of the mansion, and still embodies the 
main entrance. Ionic columns support the entablature of the one- 
bay front porch. On the front of the gable roof are two elliptical 

Broom House. 


dormers and a glass-paneled lookout. A brick interior chimney 
rises from the ridge. Quoins mark the corners of the Broom wing, 
and paneled shutters flank the windows. 

During the 19th century, a large wing was attached on the north 
side and ornate embellishments were superimposed on the 
dormers of the original section. Subsequently, the addition and 
the adornments were removed and the present substantial wing, 
designed to harmonize with the simple earlier structure, was 
erected on the south. 

The house serves as a private residence and is not open to the 

Dickinson (John) Mansion, Delaware A 

Kent County, on Kitts Hummock Road, about 3 blocks southeast of U.S. 
1 13, some 5 miles southeast of Dover. 

This early Georgian residence, sometimes called Kingston-upon- 
Hull, was the home of John Dickinson during his boyhood and 
most of the period from late 1776, when he moved his family there 
because the British threatened Philadelphia, until 1782. During 
these years, he suffered temporary political disfavor because of his 
opposition to the Declaration of Independence. 

The mansion was erected in 1739-40 by his father, Judge 
Samuel Dickinson, on a 1,300-acre plantation he had purchased. 
He moved his family there from Crosiadore estate in Maryland 
when young Dickinson was about 8 years old. He lived in the new 
home for about a decade, and then at the age of 18 departed to 
study law at Philadelphia, though in later years he again resided 
in it. 

The original hip-roofed, five-bay structure rose three full stories 
over a high basement. To conserve heat, the north side had only 
three windows. Later, two stepped-down wings were erected on the 
west side. Both featured shed-type dormers and were lVfc stories in 
height. The first was added in 1752; and the second, a smaller one, 
fronted by a brick-columned porch, 2 years later. 

In 1804-6, following a fire that ravaged the mansion, John 
Dickinson rebuilt it. He reduced the main house to its present two 
stories and replaced the hip roof with the existing gable type. 
Because of the intended use of the building by tenants, the fine 

r*9i Jt.*s* 

Dickinson Mansion. 

interior woodwork and paneling were replaced with simpler 

The mansion, which faces to the south, is in excellent condition. 
Parts of it are constructed in Flemish, English, and common- 
bonded brick with black, glazed headers. The east wall has been 
plastered over, and portions of the walls of the three units have 
been whitewashed. The unusually tall first-floor windows of the 
main house reflect the original three-story height. Most of the 
windows are shuttered and topped by flat arches. The cornice is 

To the east of the wide center hall is the parlor; to the west, two 
smaller rooms, each equipped with an angle fireplace. The 
upstairs room pattern in the main house is basically the same. 
The larger wing contains a dining room on the first floor and a 
bedroom above; the smaller, a kitchen under what were once 
quarters for household slaves. The cellar under the main house 
and adjacent wing originally consisted of a large storage room, 
wine cellar, and scullery-kitchen. 

In 1952 the State of Delaware, aided by the National Society of 
Colonial Dames of America, acquired the house and grounds. 
Before the decade ended, using State funds and private gifts, the 


mansion was restored to its 1806 appearance and landscaped. 
Some of the furnishings were once owned by the Dickinson 
family. The Delaware State Museum administers the site. 

Lombardy Hall, Delaware A 

New Castle County, on the east side of U.S. 202 (Concord Pike), just north of 
Blueball and the /unction of Del. 261 (Foulk Road), about 1 mile from the 
northern edge of Wilmington. 

Gunning Bedford, Jr., resided periodically at Lombardy Hall, a 
250-acre estate, from 1793 until his death there in 1812. He 
frequently entertained guests at the plain Georgian residence, and 
operated a model farm on his holdings. 

Lombardy Hall occupies part of what was once known as the 
Manor of the Rocklands, a 986-acre tract William Penn had 
granted in 1682 to Valentine Hollingsworth, who renamed it New 
Wark. In 1726 George Robinson, Hollingsworth's son-in-law, 
purchased 250 acres of this land and named itPizgah (Pisgah). In 
1785 Bedford acquired the estate from Charles Robinson, a great- 
grandson of the original grantee; and 8 years later, when he 
obtained clear title, redesignated it as Lombardy Hall. Upon his 
death, his widow, Jane, continued to live there until 1817 and 
rented it out until her death in 1831, after which it stayed in the 
family's hands for many years. 

By 1750 George Robinson had constructed a small farmhouse of 
gray-black Brandywine gabbro and fieldstone that now consti- 
tutes the north section of the present residence. The two-story 
dwelling contained two rooms on each floor. The main entrance, 
hall, and stairway were apparently on the south side of the 
building. Windows were recessed at right angles in the 18-inch 
thick walls. 

Bedford attached a new wing to the south wall of the structure. 
This created a symmetrical five-bay facade, whose center front 
entrance faced west. He also rebuilt the attic and roof of the 
earlier, or Robinson, section to conform with his gable-roofed, 2Vfc- 
story addition. Although the gabbro of the older structure was 
skillfully matched in the facade of the Bedford addition, a slim 
vertical line of mortar on the facade and east wall still outlines the 
location of the original south wall. The gabbro was extended a 

Lombardy Hall. 

short distance around the corner on the new south wall, and then 
apparently the building was completed in fieldstone. The windows 
in the newer portion were set in wide-angled, paneled recesses. 

The residence, which has a simple Quaker-like dignity, is in fair 
condition after years of neglect. It is being restored. The 
immediate grounds, now consisting of little more than an acre, 
adjoin a shopping center on the south and Lombardy Cemetery, 
with which Lombardy Hall shares a driveway entrance, on the 

A rectangular transom accents the paneled front door, and the 
east wall features a frontispiece entrance. The wood-shingled roof, 
which replaced one of slate, has an interior chimney near each 
end. A dentiled cornice runs the length of the building. Shutters 
flank the windows of the facade and east wall. Two former 
windows have been walled in. This left the north wall blind, as 
originally constructed. 

A large portico and lV^-story stone wing with separate entrance 
were added to the house about 1820, but were removed by the end 
of the century. About 1920 a one-story, flat-roofed, two-stall 
garage was attached to the south side of the house. It was 
constructed of stone recovered from a barn and carriage house 
that had once stood behind the residence. Except for this modern 
addition, the exterior of the building for the most part remains 


The long center hall, which extends from the front entrance to 
the rear door, contains a two-well staircase at the rear. The 
ballroom lies to the south, and two smaller rooms, to the north. 
The second floor contains four bedrooms. A bathroom, installed in 
what was once the west end of the hall, constitutes the only 
significant interior modification. 

The ballroom features an Adam-style mantel, delicately carved 
and shelved at each end. Corner fireplaces in the pair of bedrooms 
over the ballroom meet at the south wall, back to back, at the 
partition. Original chair railings, cornice moldings, stairs, 
banisters, and much of the paneling remain in good condition. 

In 1967 the Granite Masonic Lodge, recognizing Bedford's 
service as first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Delaware, 
purchased the property. The next year, the group formed the 
Lombardy Hall Foundation, Inc. It is now, in cooperation with the 
Delaware Archeological Society and a private architectural firm, 
restoring the building and grounds to their appearance during 
Bedford's residency. When the project is completed, the structure 
will serve as the lodge's meeting hall and also as a library and 
museum. The house is presently open to the public on a restricted 

Stonum, Delaware A 

New Castle County, on the northwest corner of Ninth and Washington 
Streets, New Castle. 

Sometimes also called Stoneham, this was George Read's country 
retreat, though today it is within the city limits of New Castle. 
The house is the only extant one associated with him. His 
principal residence, which he built in 1763 and lived in until his 
death in 1798, was destroyed by fire in 1824. The site is situated on 
The Strand in New Castle Historic District, about a mile away. 

Stonum estate had been granted by William Penn to William 
Houston, and was subsequently owned by various others before 
Read purchased it, apparently in the 1750's. The earliest section of 
the building, the present rear part occupied by the kitchen, is a 
flat-roofed, two-story structure with an interior chimney. It dates 
from about 1730. 

When flood damage on his marshy land led Read to sell the 
property in 1789, the main wing had already been built, but 


whether prior to or during his ownership is not certain. This 
section was attached to the south, or front, of the older building to 
form an L-shaped residence. Its panoramic view of the Delaware 
River has long since been obscured by industrial development. 

The four-bay main wing is constructed of brick on a stone 
foundation. One room deep, it stands 2V2 stories high over a 
basement. There are two interior chimneys, at the southeast and 
northwest corners of the gable roof. Two gabled dormers face to 
the front. An original wood, dentiled cornice extends the length of 
the building. Shutters, paneled on the first floor and louvered on 
the second, flank the tall windows. 

All that now remains of the estate is a plot of less than an acre 
on the outskirts of New Castle. The building is in fair condition, 
but has been altered considerably. In 1850 a two-story, flat-roofed 
addition was erected in the northwest corner. This filled in the 
crook of the ell. To avoid blocking the north window of the main 
wing, the new section was curved away from that portion of the 
wall. In the 1920' s a large cinderblock porch, stretching the length 
of the facade, was attached. Most of the brick superstructure has 
been stuccoed and painted yellow. Sheet metal has replaced the 
original roofing. 

The only interior structural modification of the south wing, 



\t v I) 






, 1 ii$g* *•?"&. 


sometime prior to 1943, has been the removal of the east wall of 
the entrance hall so that the front door opens directly into the 
enlarged southeast corner room. A smaller room is to the west. 
Opposite the present front entrance is a 9-foot door, probably the 
main entry to the earliest portion of the building. The ground floor 
of the old part of the house contains the modernized kitchen and 
the narrow axial hall. The latter also gives access to the dining 
room, which is on the main floor of the northwest addition. 

The stairway, located toward the east wall in the east front 
room, has an open stringer, sawed brackets, molded handrail and 
balusters, and paneled wainscoting. Other original features of the 
main wing are detailed woodwork, corner fireplaces, elegant 
mantels, and red-pine flooring. 

Stonum, a private residence, is not open to the public. 

Octagon House, District of Columbia A 

1799 New York Avenue NW., Washington. 

Not only is this building, erected by Col. John Tayloe, a superb 
example of Federal-style architecture, but President and "Father 
of the Constitution" James Madison and his wife also temporarily 
resided in it for about a year while the White House was being 
rebuilt following its burning by British troops in 1814. In the 
second-floor, front study he held Cabinet meetings and signed the 
Treaty of Ghent. 

Colonel Tayloe, a wealthy and influential planter whose main 
residence was at Mount Airy estate in Richmond County, Va., was 
apparently persuaded by his friend George Washington to build a 
townhouse in the new Capital City instead of in Philadelphia. In 

1797 Tayloe purchased a triangular corner lot 2 blocks west of the 
newly rising President's House (White House), and obtained the 
architectural services of Dr. William Thornton, original architect 
of the Capitol. Work on the Tayloe home, one of the first to be put 
up in Washington after it was designated as the Capital, began in 

1798 or 1799, and George Washington likely visited the site to 
observe construction progress. 

When completed in 1800, the year after his death and well before 
the White House was finished, the residence was one of the finest 
in the Nation. After the Tayloes moved in the next year, it became 
a gathering place for early Washington society and the scene of 


many brilliant social affairs. Guests over the years included 
Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Jackson, 
Decatur, Webster, Clay, Calhoun, the Marquis de Lafayette, and 
Baron von Steuben. 

On August 24-25, 1814, during the War of 1812, the British 
occupied Washington and set fire to the White House, Capitol, and 
other buildings. Octagon House was likely spared only because 
the Tayloes had leased it temporarily to French Minister Louis 
Serrurier (Serurier), who flew the Tricolor from it. Offered the use 
of several local homes when they returned to the city, the 
President and his wife, Dolley, after living briefly at another 
residence, accepted the invitation of the Tayloes, who stayed at 
their Virginia plantation, and moved into Octagon House on 
September 8, 1814. 

Presidential life quickly resumed a normal pace, though 
wartime anxieties cast a pall over social gatherings. The 
Madisons maintained their living quarters on the second floor, in 
the southeast suite, which consisted of a small vestibule, a large 
bedroom with a fireplace, and a smaller dressing room. The 
President used the adjoining circular tower room as a study and at 
least some of the time as a meetingplace for his Cabinet. There, on 

Octagon House. 

/iX.X ! 




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J 'ir& 





February 17, 1815, he signed the Treaty of Ghent concluding the 
war, after the Senate had unanimously ratified it. Later in 1815, 
for some reason the Madisons relocated to 1901 Pennsylvania 
Avenue, at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 19th Street, 
NW., in the "Seven Buildings." They lived there for the remainder 
of his Presidential term. 

The Tayloes returned to Octagon House. After Colonel Tayloe 
died in 1828, his wife continued to occupy it until her death in 
1855. Thereafter the building was leased for a variety of purposes 
and fell into disrepair. As early as 1889 the American Institute of 
Architects expressed interest in acquiring it from the Tayloe 
family for its national headquarters, and in 1897 agreed to rent it 
for 5 years and began rehabilitation. The institute took formal 
possession in 1899, and 3 years later effected the purchase. 

The mansion, which has been carefully restored, is in excellent 
condition. Marking a new zenith in Federal architecture, as 
characterized by its spare though brilliant geometric forms and in 
the restrained yet elegant Adam-style decoration, it represents a 
major departure from the traditional late Georgian and early 
Federal styles that preceded it. The unusual plan, which combines 
a circle, a triangle, and two rectangles, ingeniously adapts the 
structure to the acute angle formed by the intersection of New 
York Avenue and 18th Street. Despite its name, Octagon House is 
actually an irregular hexagon broken by a dominant semicircular 
bay projecting from the front, or southwest, face. There are eight 
sides only if the front bay is counted as three. 

Constructed of red brick laid in Flemish bond on the facade and 
in English bond on the rear, the building rises three stories over a 
raised stone basement. The only important structural change ever 
made was removal, some time before 1830, of the original Adam- 
style, flat-deck roof and fronting high brick parapet. A low, hipped 
roof was added, and the present cornice was installed. Four tall 
interior chimneys now pierce the roof. 

The belt course marking the second floor, recessed rectangular 
panels below the third, and all the window sills are of Aquia 
sandstone. Small, elliptical, grilled-iron balconies accent the floor- 
to-ceiling windows of the second floor. Window lintels are rubbed 
brick jack arches without keystones. Stone steps, flanked by a 
grilled-iron handrail lead to the one-story, flat-roofed portico, 
which is supported by two Ionic columns and two pilasters. A 
leaded, glazed fanlight tops the six-paneled door. 


The elaborate interior decoration, in the Adam style, includes 
molded baseboards and chair railings, plaster cornices and ceiling 
centerpieces, mahogany doors with brass knobs and locks, wide 
pine floorboards, several ornate mantels, and period furniture. 

In the circular entrance hall, opposite the main doorway is a 
graceful classical archway, which has engaged, fluted Corinthian 
columns. Alongside it are two arched alcoves containing cast-iron 
stoves, which were once used for heating and which resemble 
classical urns on pedestals. The archway opens into a nearly oval 
stairhall, in the triangular portion of the house. The stairs have 
plain balusters and a sweeping, rounded handrail unhindered by 
any newel posts. The curved landings are lighted by the rear 
Palladian and semicircular windows. Arched statue niches 
decorate each side of the first landing. Underneath this level on 
the main floor is the back entrance. West of the stairway are 
small, enclosed service stairs. 

The two present rectangular reception rooms that angle off from 
the stairhall on the ground floor, one on each side, were originally 
the drawing room to the southeast and the dining area to the 
southwest. Both rooms feature handsome, artificial, cast stone 
mantels made in 1799 in London by a Madame Coade. 

Exhibited in President Madison's study, the front rotunda on 
the second floor, is the pivoted, circular table on which he signed 
the Treaty of Ghent. Displayed thereon is the small, leatherbound 
trunk in which the document was brought back from Europe. Off 

Treaty Room, Octagon House. 


the upper stairhall are two exhibition galleries, which were 
originally partitioned into living quarters, including those used by 
the Madisons. Offices now occupy the third floor, which once 
consisted of five bedrooms. The restored kitchen, wine cellar, and 
other service rooms are in the basement. 

The outbuildings once included a kitchen, carriage house, slave 
quarters, stable, and smokehouse; only the latter remains. Behind 
it and the restored garden is the new semicircular headquarters 
building of the American Institute of Architects, which was 
completed in 1973. 

The White House, District of Columbia A 

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington. 

The official residence of our Presidents since 1800 and a national 
shrine that symbolizes the honor and dignity of the highest office 
in the land, the White House has been the scene of many historic 
events and brilliant social affairs. Like the Nation itself, it bears 
the influences of successive Chief Executives. Although rebuilt 
and modernized, it retains the simplicity and charm of its original 

Appropriately enough, one of the early occupants of the White 
House was "Father of the Constitution" James Madison, the 
fourth President. He and his wife, Dolley, who had also often 
served as official hostess for President Thomas Jefferson, 
introduced some of the elegance and glitter of Old World courts 
into its social life when he took office in 1809. Because of the 
burning of the White House by the British late in 1814, however, 
the Madisons were forced to live out the rest of his second term at 
other residences in Washington. 

President George Washington approved the plans for the White 
House, drawn by Irish-born James Hoban, winner of the prize 
competition. Maj. Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French artist- 
engineer, located the mansion in his plan of the Federal City, in 
which it and the Capitol were the first public buildings erected. 
The cornerstone was laid on October 13, 1792. Workmen 
used light gray sandstone from the Aquia Creek quarries, in 
Virginia, for the exterior walls. During the course of construction 
or soon thereafter, they apparently were painted white. Thf 

The White House. 

building was thus unofficially termed the "White House" from an 
early date, but for many years it was usually referred to as the 
"President's House" or the "President's Palace." 

In the Palladian style of architecture, the main facade 
resembles the Duke of Leinster's mansion in Dublin. Hoban 
probably derived the details of the other faces and the interior 
arrangement from various contemporary European mansions. He 
supervised the original construction, the rebuilding after the 
burning by British forces in 1814, and the erection of the north 
and south porticoes some years later. Over the course of time, 
however, various architects modified Hoban's original plans, 
notably Benjamin H. Latrobe during and after the Jefferson 

Although the interior had not been completed, President and 
Mrs. John Adams were the first residents, in November 1800, 
when the Government moved from Philadelphia to Washington. 
During Jefferson's term, the east and west terraces were construct- 


Madison's occupancy was interrupted in August 1814 when, 
during the War of 1812, the British captured the city and set the 
torch to the White House, the Capitol, and other Government 
buildings in retaliation for the destruction by U.S. troops of some 
public buildings in Canada. Before Mrs. Madison fled to 
Dumbarton House in Georgetown for temporary refuge, she 
managed to remove many valuable documents and the Gilbert 
Stuart portrait of George Washington that now hangs in the East 
Room. In the spring of 1815 when reconstruction began, only the 
partially damaged exterior walls and interior brickwork remained. 
The Madisons lived out his term of office in the Octagon House 
and "Seven Buildings." 

By 1817 rebuilding of the White House was completed and it 
was ready for occupancy by Madison's successor, James Monroe. 
In 1824 builders erected the south portico; and, 5 years later, the 
large north portico over the entrance and driveway. The west 
wing, including the President's oval office, was added during the 
first decade of the 20th century. The east wing was built in 1942. 

Over the years, the White House has been extensively renovated 
and modernized on various occasions. The old sandstone walls 
have been retained, however. The aim has been to preserve the 
historical atmosphere while providing a more livable home for the 
President and his family. 

On the first floor of the main building are the East Room, Green 
Room, Blue Room, Red Room, State Dining Room, and Family 
Dining Room. These richly furnished rooms are open to the public 
on a special schedule. The ground and second floors are restricted 
to the use of the Presidential family and guests. On the ground 

The White House after British troops burned it in 1814 and forced 
the Madisons to flee. 



floor are the Diplomatic Reception Room, Curator's Office, Vermeil 
Room, China Room, and Library. The second floor contains the 
Lincoln Bedroom, Lincoln Sitting Room, Queens' Bedroom (Rose 
Guest Room), Treaty Room, and Yellow Oval Room. The Empire 
Guest Room is the most important one on the third floor. Neither 
of the wings, reserved for the President and his staff, are 
ordinarily accessible to the public. 

The simple dignity of the White House is enhanced by the 
natural beauty of its informal but carefully landscaped grounds. 

Crosiadore, Maryland ® 

Talbot County, along Dickinson Bay, on a county road running west off U.S. 
50, about 3 miles southwest of Trappe 

John Dickinson was born in 1732 at this tidewater homestead 
along Maryland's Eastern Shore and lived there for about 8 years, 
until his family moved to what is now known as the Dickinson 
Mansion, near Dover, Del. His younger brother Philemon, a 
general during the War for Independence, was also born in the 

The architectural history of this long, rambling frame structure, 
part of which apparently dates back to the early 18th century, is 
obscure. The four-bay, eastern part is a gambrel-roofed structure 
that is IV2 stories in height. Triangular pediments top the 
windows. The western section is five bays wide and two bays deep. 
It rises 2V2 stories under a steeply pitched gable roof. A pavilion, 
on the north, or land, side is fronted by a huge portico, which is 
two stories in height and whose roof is flat and balustraded. 
Another pavilion, facing the bay, or to the south, has a two-story, 
galleried porch, each level of which is supported by four round 
columns. The dormers are gabled. A wide pediment with a center 
fanlight tops the porch. 

The first floor of the eastern part of the residence contains the 
kitchen and a spacious and elaborately paneled Georgian drawing 
room. The hall, west of these two rooms, is divided in two by an 
arch. The stairway is set against the northern portion of the east 
wall of the hall. 

In the western section of the house, a wide center hall divides 
the first floor into two large rooms, a sitting room to the west and 
dining room to the east. Both rooms have fireplaces. The stairway 


is against the west wall at the northern end of the hall. Bedrooms 
occupy the second and third floors. 

Crosiadore, which was enlarged and restored in the 1940's and 
is in good condition, is a private residence and may not be visited 
by the public. 

Ellerslie, Maryland ® 

Charles County, on Howard Drive, which runs south from Md. 6, Port 

Ellerslie was the birthplace of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer in 
1723 and his home for the first four decades of his life. In 1720 his 
father had acquired the plantation, then known as Coates 
Retirement. In 1934 fire destroyed the house in which the signer 
was born. The existing residence on the property was built around 
1740 by his older brother, Daniel Jenifer, who had inherited the 
estate in 1728, but Daniel of St. Thomas undoubtedly visited it 
and may have resided in it. 

Daniel apparently constructed a two-bay cottage, which 
contained four rooms, two on each floor. About five decades later, 
he attached a two-story, three-bay section to the south of the 
earlier structure. This created the present rectangular, five-bay 

The carefully restored framehouse is in excellent condition. A 
pair of hipped exterior brick chimneys flank each end of the 
residence, whose gable roof is covered with metal. Shutters and a 
one-bay, gable-roofed porch, supported by slender columns, enrich 
the facade. A small, one-story wing, built on the main axis, 
adjoins the house on the north. A similar structure once stood at 
the south end, but it was removed long ago. 

On the first floor, the kitchen and dining room are north of the 
center hall. Two large parlors, connected by double doors, are to 
the south. Four bedrooms occupy the second floor. 

After his death at Annapolis in 1790, Daniel of St. Thomas 
Jenifer was buried at Ellerslie. A private residence today, it is not 
open to the public. 

Maryland State House, Maryland A 

Anne Arundel County, State Circle. Annapolis. 

This statehouse, whose soaring dome dominates the Annapolis 
skyline, is the oldest still in continuous use for legislative purposes 


and is one of the most historic buildings in the Nation. It has been 
the scene of many stirring events. Not only was it the Capitol of 
the United States in 1783-84, but it was also the meetingplace of 
the Annapolis Convention, the immediate forerunner of the U.S. 
Constitutional Convention, and since its construction has always 
served as Maryland's seat of government. 

For 9 months, from November 26, 1783, until the following 
August 13, this structure was the U.S. Capitol under the Articles 
of Confederation, following the Continental Congress' relocation 

Maryland State House. 


from Princeton, N.J. During its 6-month session, in what is known 
today as the Old Senate Chamber, the Congress on December 23, 

1783, accepted George Washington's resignation as commander in 
chief of the Continental Army; on January 14, 1784, ratified the 
Treaty of Paris ending the War for Independence; and on May 7, 

1784, approved the appointment of Thomas Jefferson as Minister 
Plenipotentiary. After adjournment on June 3, 1784, a "Committee 
of the States," which was charged with handling Government 
affairs, continued to use the chamber until August 13. In 
November Congress reconvened in Trenton, N.J. 

But the building was destined to figure prominently once again 
in national affairs. Although Maryland did not appoint any 
delegates to the Annapolis Convention (September 1786), she 
made her capitol available for its sessions, which were probably 
held in the Old Senate Chamber. Because only 12 representatives 
from 5 States had arrived, no action was taken on the proposed 
topic, the recommendation to the States and the Continental 
Congress of measures to improve domestic and foreign trade. 
Instead, the conferees suggested that Congress and the States 
sanction another convention to consider means to strengthen the 
Articles of Confederation. This proposal was approved; the 
Constitutional Convention was the result. 

In 1772 Maryland's last Royal Governor laid the cornerstone of 
the statehouse. Because of delays caused by the War for 
Independence, the structure was not completed until about 1779, 
and the next year the legislature began using it. The architect is 

The two-story, late Georgian building, constructed of Flemish- 
bonded brick in the form of a rectangle, is 11 bays wide and 7 
deep. The dominant architectural feature, the 116-foot-high 
octagonal dome, replaced the considerably smaller original one 
and was apparently erected in the last half of the 1780's. 
Constructed of wood and held together by wooden pegs, it features 
a balustraded steeple and a two-story cupola and has arched, oval, 
and rectangular windows. 

A three-bay central pavilion, which projects slightly, is topped 
by a triangular pediment with an oval window. Spanning the 
length of the pavilion is a one-story, Corinthian tetrastyle portico, 
whose small pediment is in the central bay. Built mainly of wood, 
the portico is probably a later addition. An elliptical arch, between 


the central pair of Corinthian wall pilasters, frames the paneled 
double door and fanlight of the main entrance, which is flanked 
by semicircular arched windows. All other windows, whose sills 
are stone, are rectangular. The flat and round arches over the 
openings are of rubbed brick. A belt course marks the second floor. 
Dentiled, wood cornices decorate the roofline, portico, and both 
pediments. Two large interior chimneys are located near the front 
wall on each side of the pavilion; a small chimney, on the rear, 
northeastern, side of the roof. 

The arcaded main hall, under the dome and a second-story 
balcony, features Corinthian columns and delicate Adam-style 
plaster ornamentation. The room of main interest on the first floor 
is the Old Senate Chamber. It has been restored to its appearance 
on December 23, 1783, the day Washington relinquished his 
command. A bronze plaque marks the spot where he probably 
stood. Above the chamber entrance is a curved, balustraded 
spectators' gallery, which is supported by fluted Ionic columns. 

The point of focus in the room is the semi-elliptical dais, or 
speaker's platform. Its rear niche is framed by a pedimented 
frontispiece, which has fluted, engaged Ionic columns. They are of 
wood, but the remainder of the niche and frontispiece are of 
plaster. The walls, above the wainscot, and the ceiling are 
plastered. Of particular note are a classically trimmed fireplace 
and "the elaborate plastic cornice. Some of the decor in this 
chamber and elsewhere in the building is attributed to William 
Buckland. The windows have deep, paneled reveals, window seats, 
and inner shutters. Under the balcony, separated by a wood, 
paneled parapet, are two bilevel rows of seats for observers. The 
original yellow-pine floor is secured by pegs instead of nails. The 
chandelier is a reproduction. 

Alongside the Old Senate Chamber is the Historical and Flag 
Room, which contains a special flag display and some exhibits. 
Opposite the Old Senate Chamber is the Old House of Delegates 
Chamber, which is primarily significant in Maryland history but 
is now occupied by the Attorney General's office. The offices of the 
Governor are on the second floor. Throughout the building are 
many excellent paintings and portraits. 

The statehouse includes an annex, which is slightly larger than 
the original building. Constructed in 1902-5, it replaced two 
earlier ones (1858 and 1886) and contains the modern legislative 


chambers and various State offices. Guided tours of the building, 
which is in Colonial Annapolis Historic District, are provided. 

Peggy Stewart House, Maryland A 

Anne Arundel County, 207 Hanover Street, Annapolis. 

This residence is also known as the Rutland-Jenifer -Stone House, 
the Rutland-Peggy Stewart House, and the Rutland-Stewart-Stone 
House. Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer owned it at three different 
times, but it cannot be determined if he ever lived in it. 

Thomas Rutland constructed the building some time between 
1761 and 1764. Jenifer first acquired it in January 1772 and 6 
months later sold it to Anthony Stewart, an Annapolis merchant. 
In 1774 Revolutionaries forced Stewart to burn his ship, the Peggy 
Stewart, when he attempted to land a cargo of tea on which he 
had paid taxes. Five years later, he fled to England and Mrs. 
Stewart sold the house back to Jenifer, who then owned it for a 4- 
year period before selling it in 1783 to Thomas Stone, signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, who occupied it while in the city. 
When Stone died 4 years later, Jenifer again purchased the 
property, which he held until his death in 1790. 

The rectangular Georgian brick house, which is five bays wide 
and three deep, is in excellent condition, but over the years both 
the exterior and the interior have been substantially modified. Its 
2V2 stories rest on an elevated basement. At the time of a major 
alteration in 1894, the gable roof was replaced by the present 
hipped roof, which has a cutoff deck and balustrade, and the end 
chimneys were rebuilt in their present form. Two gabled dormers 
are located at the front of the roof, and one at each side. 
Highlighting the ends of the house are central pavilions, which 
have triangular pediments and round center windows. The 
chimneys cut through the front corners of the pediments. A 
wooden box cornice with frieze board below extends around the 
eaves. A large wing at the rear is a later addition. 

The front, or north, facade is comprised of all-header bond and 
the sides of English bond. Basement and first-story windows are 
topped by segmental arches; those on the second floor, by flat 
ones. The sills are of stone. Louvered shutters flank the first- and 
second-floor windows. The front entrance, sheltered by a small 

Peggy Stewart House. 

modern wooden porch with a triangular pediment, has a paneled 
door that is surmounted by a rectangular, glazed transom. 

The interior has been extensively remodeled in recent times. The 
original portion of the house, excluding the rear addition, has a 
center-hall floor plan. The stairs are set against the east wall, and 
a large living room occupies the east side of the house. A parlor 
and dining room are situated to the west of the hall. Five 
bedrooms are located upstairs. Only one fireplace, on the second 
floor, retains its original mantel. 

The privately owned residence, part of Colonial Annapolis 
Historic District, is not open to the public. 

Governor John Langdon Mansion, New Hampshire A 

Rockingham County, 143 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth. 

John Langdon built this elaborate and stately Georgian 
mansion in 1784, while serving as president, or Governor, of New 
Hampshire, and resided in it until his death in 1819. Guests he 
entertained there included George Washington, James Monroe, 
John Hancock, Lafayette, and the exiled Louis Philippe of France. 
The edifice, which reflects not only Langdon's wealth but also 
his affection for French styles, emulates continual European 18th- 

Illiiinilll IIHIII 


Governor John Langdon Mansion. 

century elegance. It is unaltered and in view of the delicacy of 
many of its details is in remarkably good condition. Two tall 
interior chimneys rise from the rear of the hipped roof of the 2V2- 
story, five-bay structure. The classical captain's walk is sur- 
rounded by a Chippendale railing. Three dormers, whose pedi- 
ments are scrolled, project from beneath the walk. Corinthian 
pilasters, with intricately carved capitals, serve as cornerposts of 
the house. Wings extending from its rear add to the complexity of 
the floor plan. Brick guardhouses, formerly estate offices, stand at 
each side of the mansion. 

Four Corinthian columns support the balustraded portico, 
which shelters the main entrance. A rectangular transom tops the 
three-light, nine-panel front door. Curving up on either side of the 
tall center window over the portico is a large surface scroll. 
Louvered shutters accent the other first- and second-floor 
windows. Dentiled cornices adorn the roofline, dormers, and 

The interior features are equally elegant. Of special interest is 
the carved paneling, particularly that in the parlor. Arched panels 
over the windows, with a fleur-de-lis carved above each keystone, 
embellish the dining room. 

The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities 
owns and administers the mansion, which is surrounded by 
elaborate gardens and is furnished with period pieces. It is open to 
the public from June through October. 


Ladd-Gilman House (Cincinnati Memorial Hall), New Hampshire A 

Rockingham County, Governor's Lane and Water Street, Exeter. 

This structure, overlooking the Squamscott River, is sometimes 
also called the Gilman House. It was the birthplace and home of 
bachelor signer Nicholas Gilman, Jr., for most of his life. His 
grandfather, Col. Daniel Gilman, purchased it from a relative by 
marriage, Nathaniel Ladd, in 1747. The signer's parents, Nicho- 
las, Sr., and Ann Taylor Gilman, moved in when they wed 5 years 
later. Nicholas, Sr., held a colonelcy during the War for 
Independence and served as New Hampshire's first State 
treasurer. Another resident, until 1818, was the signer's brother, 
John Taylor Gilman, who succeeded his father in the latter office 
and was also a Member of the Continental Congress and 
Governor of New Hampshire. 

In 1721 Nathaniel Ladd, whose forebears were among the 
earliest families to settle in Exeter, built the original 2 1 /2-story, 
five-bay, square brick house. The central entrance opened into a 
narrow hallway, which bisected the main floor into two pairs of 
rooms and contained a steep, enclosed stairway. 

In 1752 Nicholas Gilman, Sr., substantially enlarged and 
altered the house. He apparently removed the north wall and the 
partitions separating the north pair of rooms, and attached two 
additional bays, fronted by a small, enclosed portico. The brick 
exterior of the original portion was also clapboarded to match the 

Both the interior and exterior are well preserved, and changes 
from their late 18th-century appearance are minimal. The 
windows, topped by cornices on the first floor, are unevenly spaced 
and larger toward the north end of the building. This results in an 
asymmetrical facade. Three gabled dormers and two large interior 
chimneys protrude from the front of the roof, which is gabled on 
the south end and hipped on the north. A transom and pilasters, 
surmounted by a triangular pediment, accent the original paneled 
front door, situated to the south. The north entrance, to the newer 
part of the residence, also features a paneled door, which is 
flanked by pilasters and leads to a small, enclosed porch, which 
has a gable roof. A basement extends under at least the north part 
of the house. A large piazza is at the rear of the same end. The IV2- 
story caretaker's wing, a modern addition, which has two front 


dormers, is set back against the west, or rear, portion of the south 
end of the residence on the same axis. 

The north entrance opens into a square hall, which contains a 
three-run stairway set against a large chimney. One large room is 
to the north, and a small one is west of the chimney, which 
provides a fireplace for both rooms in the addition. The southeast 
corner room, in the older part of the house, was used by Col. 
Nicholas Gilman, Sr., as his treasury office and contains a chest 
in which he probably stored State valuables. The original kitchen 
is to the west. A long parlor, once two rooms, occupies the entire 
north side of the older part of the structure. 

The impressive interior features many spacious rooms, deep 
window seats, fluted pilasters, paneled wainscoting, and huge 
fireplaces. One of the six rooms on the second floor was 
apparently once utilized by jailkeeper Simeon Ladd as a cell. An 
iron ring in the baseboard was likely used to chain prisoners. A 
copy of the committee of detail draft of the Constitution, 
annotated by signer Nicholas Gilman, Jr., hangs in one of the 
stairway halls. Among the portraits on display are one of George 
Washington, attributed to Gilbert Stuart, and one of Gilman. 

The Society of the Cincinnati in New Hampshire, of which 
Nicholas Gilman, Jr., was one of the first members, has owned 
and maintained the house since 1902. The society, which has 
restored the building, uses it as a meetingplace and museum, and 
opens it to the public on a restricted basis. 

Ladd-Gilman House. 


Boxwood Hall, New Jersey A 

Union County, 1073 E. Jersey Street, Elizabeth. 

Jonathan Dayton resided in this home, also known as the Elias 
Boudinot House, from about 1795 until his death in 1824, shortly 
after Lafayette visited him there. Dayton had purchased the 
property from Boudinot, a U.S. Representative and former Presi- 
dent of the Continental Congress, who had acquired it from 
Samuel Woodruff in 1772. During Boudinot's occupancy, in 1789, 
he and other members of a special committee appointed by the 
First Congress to escort George Washington to New York City for 
his inauguration received him at Boxwood Hall. Much earlier, 
Boudinot had frequently entertained Alexander Hamilton, while 
he was a young student. 

Boxwood Hall was erected in the mid-18th century. In 1870 it 
was extensively modified. The original lateral wings were demol- 
ished, the gable roof removed, two additional stories added under 
the new mansard roof, and a rear service wing attached. During 
restoration in 1942-43, the 19th-century additions were eliminat- 
ed, and the gable roof and window sashes were reconstructed. The 
two-story, five-bay structure has two inside exterior chimneys. 
Shingles cover the brick-filled frame walls. A rectangular transom 
surmounts the front door, and paneled shutters adorn the win- 

The main house, including the frame, interior paneling, and 

Boxwood Hall. 


floors, remains largely original. A central hall divides each level 
into two pairs of rooms. The first floor contains the drawing room 
and library to the east, and the sitting and dining rooms to the 
west. Fireplace walls, except in one upstairs bedroom, are paneled. 
Pilasters and ornate mantels adorn the fireplaces. Elaborate cor- 
nices and dadoes enrich the first-floor rooms. 

The Boxwood Hall Memorial Association, formed in the late 
1930's when the residence was threatened with demolition, raised 
funds by popular subscription, purchased the property in 1940, 
and the following year deeded it to the State of New Jersey. The 
State, which has restored the residence, maintains it as a historic 
house museum. 

Liberty Hall, New Jersey A 

Union County, Morris (N.J. 82) and North (N.J. 439) Avenues, Union. 

In 1772 William Livingston, who had retired from politics in New 
York, built and occupied this country mansion on an estate he had 
acquired in 1760. During the first year of his occupancy, Alexan- 
der Hamilton resided with him while attending nearby Barber's 
Academy. The outbreak of the Revolution dashed Livingston's 
hopes of becoming a gentleman farmer and propelled him into a 
new and even more illustrious career in New Jersey and national 

During the war, while Livingston was absent serving as a 
general in the New Jersey militia and as Governor, he was forced 
to leave his wife and children alone for long periods at the estate, 
which was often threatened by British troops. In happier days, 
guests included George and Martha Washington, Lewis Morris, 
Lafayette, and Elias Boudinot. At Liberty Hall, one of Living- 
ston's daughters married John Jay, who went on to a remarkable 

Soon after Livingston's death there in 1790, Susan Livingston 
Kean, his niece, purchased the estate, which has remained in the 
family since that time. In 1800, about 5 years after the death of 
her husband, who had been a Member of the Continental Con- 
gress, Mrs. Kean married Count Julian Ursin Niemcewicz, and 
renamed the residence Ursino in his honor. Since that time, 
however, the earlier name has been reapplied. The Kean family 
has continued to be prominent in State and National affairs. 








Liberty Hall. 

yjr~ • 


' L ' "■ ■ 

■ ~ 


<*. ,-t* 

The structure, in three sections, was built of frame over an 
elevated stone basement. The original two-story central portion, 
which had a modified gambrel roof and two interior chimneys, 
was flanked by one-story wings, built on the main axis, with 
poly-angular ends, hipped roofs, and end chimneys. Exterior walls 
were flushboarded. Quoins marked the corners of the central 
section, and flat, key-blocked cornices topped the first-story win- 

In 1789 a second story was added to the west wing. In 1870 a 
third story was superimposed on the west wing and central 
section, and the second and third stories on the east wing. The 
rooms and tower at the northwest corner and the rooms at the 
northeast corner were also constructed at that time, as well as 
a gabled roof with bracketed eaves over the entire building. 

Except for the additional levels, the south, or front, elevation 
retains its original appearance. Open-string steps, whose balus- 
ters are plain, lead to the pedimented front porch. A fanlight 
surmounts the paneled door. Shutters are paneled on the first floor 
and louvered on the second. Third-story windows lack any such 
adornment. The cornice of the porch, as well as its triangular 
pediment, are dentiled. 

The floor plan and interior trim of the 18th-century portion of the 


mansion remain essentially intact within the larger present 
structure. The elaborate mantels date from the 19th century. While 
a number of rooms and their furnishings have been restored to 
their original condition, others have been added to meet the 
changing needs of different generations of the Kean family, and 
modifications have been made to add modern heating and plumb- 
ing systems. 

Liberty Hall still contains furniture, manuscripts, books, pic- 
tures, and portraits that belonged to Livingston and other early 
owners. Several outbuildings, including an icehouse and a smoke- 
house, have been preserved. A private residence, still part of a large 
estate, the building is not accessible to the public. 

Federal Hall National Memorial, New York SI 

New York County, at the corner of Wall and Nassau Streets, just off 
Broadway, in lower Manhattan; address: c/o National Park Service. New 
York Group, 26 Wall Street, New York City 10005. 

This memorial commemorates two earlier buildings on this site 
that were the scene of momentous events vital to American 
freedom and the formation of the Union. City Hall, the first 
structure, was a Capitol of the United States under the Articles of 
Confederation; enlarged and renamed Federal Hall, it was the 
first Capitol under the Constitution. The present edifice, erected in 
the period 1835-42, was designated as Federal Hall National 
Memorial in the 20th century. 

In City Hall the Continental Congress issued the call for the 
Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia; received, debated, and 
transmitted the Constitution to the States for ratification; and 
prepared for the transfer of power to the new Government. On the 
balcony of Federal Hall, George Washington took the oath of 
office as our first President. In its chambers, the First Congress 
created the original governmental departments as well as the 
Federal judiciary system, and drafted and submitted the Bill of 
Rights to the States for approval. 

City Hall, begun about 1699 to replace an earlier structure on 
another site, the Dutch Stadt Huys, was completed and occupied 
in 1703 or 1704 and remodeled in 1763. In time, the building also 
accommodated the colonial and State governments. 


In 1734 newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger, charged with 
publishing "seditious libels," was imprisoned by the colonial 
Governor in the garret of City Hall. The following year, he was 
tried in the hall. His attorney, Andrew Hamilton, won his acquit- 
tal, an important precedent for freedom of speech and the press. In 
October 1765 the Stamp Act Congress, consisting of delegates 
from 9 of the 13 Colonies, convened in the hall. Offering the first 
united colonial opposition to English policy, it sent an address to 
the King, petitioned Parliament, and drew up a Declaration of 
Rights and Grievances. 

Federal Hall National Memorial. 


During the 1770's Philadelphia displaced New York as the 
prime meetingplace for intercolonial gatherings and hosted both 
the First and Second Continental Congresses. During the War for 
Independence, from 1776 to 1783, British forces and Loyalists 
controlled New York City. City Hall became a guardhouse and 
housed a military court. 

In late 1784 the Continental Congress, meeting in Trenton, N.J., 
selected New York City as the seat of Government; and in 
January began meeting in City Hall, at the invitation of the city 
government. In February 1787 Congress approved the resolution 
of the Annapolis Convention that called for the convening of a 
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. During the Conven- 
tion, some delegates journeyed to and from New York to sit in the 
Congress. During this period, it passed the Northwest Ordinance, 
which provided for the government of the Territory Northwest of 
the Ohio River. After the Convention, Congress received and 
forwarded the Constitution to the States for ratification. 

In September 1788 the Continental Congress designated New 
York City as the U.S. Capital under the Constitution. The city 
council promptly offered the continued use of City Hall, and hired 
Maj. Pierre Charles L'Enfant to renovate and enlarge it. The work 
was largely completed before Congress met the following spring. 
Filling in the space between the two front wings, which projected 
from a central block, L'Enfant erected an imposing second-floor 
balcony in the middle of the new front facade. Large extensions 
were also made at the rear of the building, and a new roof was 
built for the entire structure. In the repartitioned interior, spacious 
chambers were provided for both the House and Senate as well as 

City Hall, the predecessor of Federal Hall. 


an imposing office for the President. Inside and out, the building 
was ornately decorated to celebrate American freedom and Union. 

In the new structure, renamed Federal Hall, the First Congress 
held its initial sessions early in April 1789, counted the electoral 
votes, and announced the election of George Washington as 
President and John Adams as Vice President. On April 30 a 
congressional committee escorted Washington from his local 
residence to Federal Hall. There, on the front balcony, overlooking 
throngs of people at the intersection of Broad and Wall Streets, 
Robert R. Livingston, Chancellor of the State of New York, 
administered the Presidential oath. Upon the ceremony's conclu- 
sion, as the flag was raised on the cupola of the building, cheers 
filled the air, church bells rang out, and guns saluted from the 
harbor. Shortly thereafter, inside the building, from the dais of the 
Senate Chamber, Washington delivered his inaugural address. 

Between July and September, Congress created the Supreme 
Court and other courts and the Departments of State, War, and 
Treasury, as well as the office of Attorney General; and adopted 
and transmitted the Bill of Rights to the States for ratification. 
One of Congress' last acts in this building, in July 1790, was 
selection of a 10-mile square tract along the Potomac as the site of 
a permanent national Capital, to be called the District of Colum- 
bia. In August 1790 the Federal Government moved from New 
York to Philadelphia, which was to serve as the interim Capital. 

Federal Hall, ca. 1789. 



During the following two decades, Federal Hall was utilized 
only for State and city offices. In 1796 the legislature relocated to 
Albany, and in 1811 the city also vacated the deteriorating 
building. The following year, it was demolished. 

Commercial buildings were soon erected on the site. In 1816 or 
1817 the Federal Government acquired or leased them for tempo- 
rary use as a customhouse. The permanent New York City Custom 
House, built at the site in the period 1835-42, is an outstanding 
example of Greek Revival architecture. In 1862 it became the 
United States Sub-Treasury. Later, it housed the Federal Reserve 
Bank of New York and a number of minor governmental offices. 
When most of these were relocated, local civic and patriotic 
organizations conceived the idea of preserving the structure as a 
memorial to the founding of our Federal form of Government. The 
building was designated as a national historic site in 1939 and 
became a national memorial in 1955. 

Federal Hall National Memorial is administered by the Nation- 
al Park Service with the cooperation of the Federal Hall Memorial 
Associates, Inc. Extensive exhibits trace the historical events 
associated with the site. 

Hamilton Grange National Memorial, New York [*] 

New York County, 287 Convent Avenue, adjacent to St. Luke's Protestant 
Episcopal Church, New York City; address: c/o National Park Service. 
New York Group, 26 Wall Street, New York City 10005. 

Hamilton Grange, one of the few Federal-period houses still 
standing in New York City, is the only home Alexander Hamilton 
ever owned and the only extant structure significantly associated 
with him. Still standing, however, is The Pastures, the Albany 
residence of his father-in-law, Gen. Philip J. Schuyler, where he 
was married and frequently visited. 

In 1795 Hamilton resigned as Secretary of the Treasury and 
returned to New York City to practice law, though he continued to 
participate in national affairs. At first he lived downtown. In 1800, 
planning to build a country residence, he purchased a 16-acre 
tract on the pleasant wooded hills known as Harlem Heights, 
about 9 miles from the city. The site offered a fine view of the 
Hudson and Harlem Rivers. Later, he purchased the adjoining 16 

Hamilton Grange National Memorial. 

In 1801-2 Hamilton constructed a house on this property. It was 
designed by the distinguished architect John McComb. Hamilton 
closely followed the course of construction. He named the estate 
"The Grange" after that of his paternal grandfather, Alexander 
Hamilton, in Ayrshire, Scotland. The two-story residence was 
constructed of wood, but the walls and partitions were filled with 
brick. A balustraded central portico, supported by Doric columns, 
adorned the front entrance. The roof was balustraded and appar- 
ently covered with copper. The two rear interior chimneys were 
functional, but the front two were false to achieve symmetry. 
Topping the front door, which was flanked by rectangular win- 
dows, was a transom. The shutters were louvered. 

On one side of the short, rectangular entrance hall was an 
enclosed stair hall, which gave access to the upper story and to 
the kitchen and other service rooms in the basement. On the other 
side of the hall was Hamilton's small study. To the rear of the 
hall, beyond an arch, twin doors angled into two large octagonal 
rooms, the drawing and dining rooms, which spanned the width 
of the house. They were interconnected by wide doors, which when 
opened created a single large chamber for festive occasions. 
French windows opened from each of the two rooms onto a side 
balustraded and railed piazza, graced by Doric columns. The rear 
doors of the two octagonal chambers opened obliquely onto a 
rectangular central hall, which provided access to two small 


rooms, as well as to the rear entrance and a small porch. The 
stairway leading to the second floor opened into a full-length 
central hall, which provided access to the bedrooms. All the rooms 
except the single front one on each floor featured fireplaces; the 
mantelpieces were of fine marble. 

Hamilton lavishly furnished the residence and envisioned the 
creation of extensive gardens, but these were never fully complet- 
ed. He did plant a group of 13 gum trees, a gift from George 
Washington to commemorate the Thirteen Original States. 

About the time Hamilton and his family moved into the house 
in December 1802, a series of tragedies befell him. One of his sons 
had died in a duel at Weehawken, N.J., in November 1801. His 
wife's mother died in March 1803. Because of unwise investments, 
he encountered increasing financial difficulties. And in July 1804 
he dueled with Aaron Burr, on the same ground where his son had 
fallen, and he died the next day. The night before the duel, in his 
study he had written a farewell letter to his wife. 

Mrs. Hamilton moved to downtown New York City after her 
husband's death, though she may sometimes have occupied The 
Grange. She apparently rented it out from time to time until she 
sold it in 1833 or 1834. After that time, the deteriorating residence 
had a series of owners until 1889, when construction of a new 
street further endangered it. 

That year, St. Luke's Episcopal Church acquired the house and 
moved it to its present site about 2 blocks to the southeast of its 
original location. The church used it temporarily as a chapel and 
later as a parish house. Certain alterations were made, though the 
basic structure remained unchanged. 

In 1924, concerned about the preservation of The Grange, two 
financiers, George F. Baker, Sr., and J. P. Morgan, purchased it, 
conveyed it to the American Scenic and Historical Preservation 
Society, and set up a trust fund to maintain it as a memorial to 
Hamilton. The public was admitted in 1933. In 1962 the society 
donated the house to the Federal Government. That same year, 
Congress created Hamilton Grange National Memorial. 

Urban development has obscured Hamilton Grange. Taller and 
more modern buildings surround it. Despite modifications, the 
core of the structure is intact, though it needs extensive renova- 
tion. Its simple but dignified design is still apparent. The original 
wood siding, hand-hewn attic beams, handsplit lath, ornamental 


plaster moldings, and all but two of the marble mantelpieces are 
still in place. 

When the house was moved to its present location, the porches 
and piazzas were removed and it was set sideways on a new 
basement. Then or at a later time the roof balustrade was re- 
moved, and other alterations were made. Both the former front 
(which now faces St. Luke's Church) and rear entrances were 
walled up. A new main entrance was cut in what formerly had 
been the side wall of the front stair hall, and the original main 
door was inserted there. Another front door was also cut into one 
of the original rear rooms and the present porch added. The stairs 
were removed to clear a hallway in front of the new main en- 
trance, and a new set of stairs installed in what formerly had been 
the front entrance hall. Over the years, new partitions have 
somewhat changed the arrangement of the original rear rooms on 
both floors. The basement presently provides caretaker's quarters. 

The National Park Service plans to restore The Grange, refur- 
nish it with Hamilton furniture, and obtain more memorabilia. It 
is now furnished with period pieces and is used for interpretive 
programs and community projects. 

King Manor, New York A 

Queens County, in King Park, which is bounded by Jamaica Avenue, 1 50th 
and 1 53d Streets, and 89th Avenue, Jamaica, New York City. 

King Manor. 

M 4\ 



Rufus King lived in this mansion from 1806 intermittently until 
his death in 1827. It then became the residence of his son, John 
Alsop King, a New York legislator and Governor as well as a 
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

In 1805, following his return from diplomatic service in Europe, 
the elder King purchased for a country retreat a 90 -acre farmstead 
from the estate of the son-in-law of Rev. Thomas Colgan, who had 
served as a minister at the adjacent Grace Episcopal Church. The 
tract then extended eastward to the church and northward to 
present Grand Central Parkway. 

The next year, King apparently utilized three existing buildings 
to construct a 17-room mansion, which featured English and 
Dutch Colonial elements and some Federal details. First, he 
enlarged a 2V2-story house with gambrel roof that Colgan had 
begun for a parsonage about 1750 by extending it eastward to 
create the present main house. From elsewhere on the premises, it 
appears that he moved two- and one-story buildings, apparently 
dating from the first half of the century, and added them in that 
sequence to the rear northeastern corner of the addition to form an 
ell, used for servants' quarters. Demonstrating his horticultural 
interests, he revamped the grounds in English style. Subsequent- 
ly, in 1888-89, the King family sold much of the surrounding 

Today the estate is hemmed in by extensive urbanization. The 
frame mansion, however, is in good condition and remains rela- 
tively unaltered. The generous horizontal proportions of the newer 
section of the main house give the manor its asymmetrical facade. 
Fluted Doric columns support the portico over the main entrance, 
a central Dutch door topped by a transom and flanked by side- 
lights. Over the portico, whose cornice is dentiled, sits a Palladian 
window with segmental arch. Two interior chimneys rise from the 
roof. Later exterior modifications include several skylights, win- 
dow shutters, and shingle siding over the original frame. The two 
additions that make up the ell each have end chimneys and gable 
roofs. The two-story unit adjacent to the main house is fronted by 
a columned porch. 

The parlor and family room are to the west of the wide foyer. 
The latter room probably most closely approximates its general 
appearance during Rufus King's residency. A spacious, oval- 
ended dining room occupies the southeastern, or front, corner of 
the first floor. Behind it, or to the north, separated by a side 


hallway, a large serving pantry connects with the kitchen, in the 
ell. The second floor contains bedrooms, children's rooms, and a 
sitting room. The furnishings are a mixture of Colonial, Empire, 
and Victorian. 

The village of Jamaica acquired the estate in 1897, a year after 
the death of King's granddaughter, Cornelia King. Later, when 
New York City annexed the village, it gained jurisdiction over the 
manor, which is part of ll^-acre King Park. An office of the city's 
Departments of Parks is located in the ell. The King Manor 
Association of Long Island, Inc., preserves and cares for the 
interior of the main house, part of which is open to the public on a 
restricted basis. Rufus King is buried in the graveyard of nearby 
Grace Episcopal Church. 

Iredell (James) House, North Carolina ® 

Chowan County, 107 E. Church Street, Edenton. 

Early in 1798, in a state of extreme mental anguish apparently 
brought on mainly by mounting debts, James Wilson, probably 
while visiting North Carolina on Federal circuit court matters, 
took refuge in this house. It was the home of his friend and fellow 
U.S. Supreme Court Justice James Iredell, who had been instru- 
mental in the North Carolina ratification of the Constitution. 
Within a few months, Wilson died there. 

The little-altered Iredell House, which is in excellent condition, 
is a large L-shaped structure. It is constructed of frame and is two 
stories in height. The roof is gabled. Two-story verandas span the 
front, or south, and rear elevations of the long arm of the ell. 
Transoms flank the central entrances on both levels, and louvered 
shutters flank the windows. 

The building was erected in three stages. The earliest, the 
present short, or east, arm of the ell, was built in 1759 by John 
Wilkins. In 1776 Joseph Whedbee enlarged the structure by add- 
ing to its west side the two easternmost bays of the present five- 
bay long arm. In 1810 Iredell's widow extended the arm by three 
bays to its present size and added the verandas. 

The original section of the house contains a living room and one 
other room on the first floor and two bedrooms on the second. The 
first floor of the 1776 portion consists of the dining room; the 
second floor, a large bedroom. These two sections are furnished as 
a historic house museum. The remaining part of the long arm, 


dating from 1810, serves as the caretaker's quarters. The State 
owns and administers the residence. 

Rosefield, North Carolina <g> 

Bertie County, 212 Gray Street, Windsor. 

In 1749 William Blount was born at Rosefield, the home of his 
maternal grandparents, John Gray and his wife, and he later 
made occasional visits there. It is the only extant structure 
associated with Blount in North Carolina. 

In 1729 Gray acquired about 1,000 acres on the site of Windsor, 
and built the west part of the front section of the existing house. 
In the late 18th century, it was extended eastward to its present 
five-bay width. About 1860 a two-story, frame wing was added to 
the rear northwest corner to create the present ell shape. A one- 
story addition on the east of this wing was apparently erected at a 
later date. 

The frame dwelling is in good condition. It stands two stories 
high over a full basement. A brick exterior hipped chimney rises 
at either end of the gabled roof. A three-bay porch shelters the 
central main entrance, which is framed by a rectangular transom 
and sidelights. Louvered shutters flank the windows. 

On the first floor, a parlor and bedroom are west of the central 
hall, and a living room and a second bedroom to the east. The 
original wide-board floors are visible in the hall and two bed- 
rooms, but have been covered by modern flooring in the parlor 
and living room. The rooms all have plaster walls and wood chair 
rails. Three chambers and a linen room occupy the second floor, 
and the original kitchen, dining room, and pantry are in the 

A private residence, still in the possession of Gray descendants, 
Rosefield is not shown publicly. 

Independence National Historical Park, Pennsylvania 

Philadelphia County, in downtown Philadelphia, visitor center at the corner 
of Third and Chestnut Streets: address: 313 Walnut Street. Philadelphia, Pa. 

This park, a complex of historic structures in the old part of 
Philadelphia, is not only preeminent among the sites associated 


with the signers of the Constitution, but also notably commemo- 
rates other major aspects of the Nation's founding and initial 
growth. These include meetings of the First and Second Conti- 
nental Congresses; adoption and signing of the Declaration of 
Independence, which marked the creation of the United States; 
and the labors of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which 
perpetuated it. As historian Carl Van Doren has said: "On 
account of the Declaration of Independence, [Independence Hall] 
is a shrine honored wherever the rights of man are honored. On 
account of the Constitution, it is a shrine cherished wherever the 
principles of self-government on a federal scale are cherished." 

Independence Hall, the nucleus of the park, was originally the 
State House for the Province of Pennsylvania. In 1729 the provin- 

Independence Hall. 


cial assembly set aside funds for the building, designed by lawyer 
Andrew Hamilton. Three years later, construction began under 
the supervision of master carpenter Edmund Wooley. In 1736 the 
assembly moved into the statehouse, which was not fully complet- 
ed until 1756. 

As American opposition to British colonial policies mounted, 
Philadelphia became a center of organized protest. To decide on a 
unified course of action, in 1774 the First Continental Congress 
met in newly finished Carpenters' Hall, whose erection the Car- 
penters' Company of Philadelphia had begun 4 years earlier. In 
1775 the Second Continental Congress, taking over the east room 
of the ground floor of the statehouse from the Pennsylvania 
assembly, moved from protest to resistance. Warfare had already 
begun in Massachusetts. Congress created an Army and appoint- 
ed George Washington as commander in chief. Yet the final break 
with the Crown had not come; not until a year later would 
independence be declared. 

The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. 
Four days later, in Independence Square, it was first read publicly, 
to the citizens of Philadelphia. In a formal ceremony on August 2, 
about 50 of the 56 signers affixed their signatures to the Declara- 
tion; the others apparently did so later. 

Long, hard years of war ensued. In the late autumn and winter 
of 1776-77, the British threatened Philadelphia and Congress 
temporarily moved to Baltimore. Again in the fall of 1777 it 
departed from Philadelphia, this time for York, Pa. During the 
British occupation of Philadelphia that winter and the next 
spring, the redcoats used Independence Hall as a barracks and as 
a hospital for American prisoners. In the summer of 1778 the 
Government returned. On November 3, 1781, Congress officially 
received news of Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown. Independ- 
ence practically had been won. 

Earlier that same year, the Articles of Confederation and Per- 
petual Union had gone into effect. Under the Confederation, 
Congress stayed in Philadelphia until 1783, and later met in other 
cities before settling in City Hall at New York City, in early 1785. 
In 1787, from May 14 until September 17, the Constitutional 
Convention held its secret sessions in Independence Hall, in the 
same chamber in which the Declaration had been adopted and 
signed. The Constitution was subscribed to on September 17 by 39 

View of various public buildings in Philadelphia about 1790. Left to right, Congress 
Hall, State House (whose steeple had actually been removed in 1781 ), American 
Philosophical Society Hall, Hall of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and 
Carpenters' Hall. 

of the 55 delegates who attended the Convention. The Pennsylva- 
nia legislature later ratified the Constitution in the east room of 
the second floor of Independence Hall, where it had moved to 
make first-floor space available for the Convention. 

About the same time that Philadelphia became the second 
Capital (1790-1800) under the Constitution, after the Government 
had moved from New York City and prior to its relocation to 
Washington, D.C., Independence Hall acquired three new neigh- 
bors in Independence Square: City Hall (1791), on the east; 
County Court House (1789), on the west; and American Philosoph- 
ical Society Hall, on the southeast. Beginning in 1790, Congress 
met in the County Court House (subsequently known as Congress 
Hall), the Senate in a small chamber on the second floor and the 
House of Representatives in a larger one on the first. The follow- 
ing year, after sitting for a few days in Independence Hall, the 
U.S. Supreme Court moved to City Hall. In 1793 George Washing- 


ton was inaugurated for his second term as President in the 
Senate chamber of Congress Hall, and 4 years later President 
Adams took his oath of office in the House chamber. 

In 1799 the State government vacated Independence Hall and 
moved to Lancaster. The next year, the Federal Government 
relocated to Washington, D.C. The city of Philadelphia then used 
City Hall and Congress Hall, and various tenants occupied Inde- 
pendence Hall until the city acquired it in 1818. For example, 
during the period 1802-27 artist Charles Willson Peale operated a 
museum there. He and his son Rembrandt painted many of the 
signers of the Constitution and the Declaration as well as the 
heroes of the War for Independence. These portraits form the core 
of the park's present collection, which is exhibited in the Second 
Bank of the United States Building. 

Stately and symmetrical Independence Hall, a 2 1 /2-story red 
brick structure that has been carefully restored, is the most 
beautiful 18th-century public building of Georgian style surviving 

Many of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention undoubtedly took 
advantage of this invitation from the Library Company of Philadelphia 
to use its facilities. 


/ft t> //r/« /tf< * < c 1 1. ~> ( t'/t a- t<r i i < A r>~^/ eJ //l <^ , 
, ^ /A( y : t <_ cy-y /*V */ / * C » *£*< i f < < o> * /t c ( / - ' 


in the United States. The tall belltower, which had deteriorated 
and been replaced in 1781 by a low pyramidal roof and spire and 
then been reconstructed along the original lines in 1828 by archi- 
tect William Strickland, dominates the south facade. Smaller two- 
story, hip-roofed, brick wings, erected in 1736 and 1739 and 
restored in 1897-98, one of which serves as a park information 
center, are connected to the main building by arcades. 

The interior focus of interest in Independence Hall is the Assem- 
bly Room, the eastern one on the first floor. Probably no other 
room in the United States has been the scene of such political 
courage and wisdom. In this chamber, the Continental Congress 
and the Constitutional Convention formulated and signed the 
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The room is 
about 40 feet square and 20 feet high. Twin segmental-arched 
fireplaces along the east wall flank the speaker's dais. Massive 
fluted pilasters raised on pedestals adorn the paneled east wall. 
The other three walls are plastered. A heavy Roman Doric entab- 
lature borders the plaster ceiling. The room and the furniture 
arrangement at the time of the Continental Congress have been 
duplicated. The only original furnishings are the "Rising Sun" 
chair and the silver inkstand with quill box and shaker used by 
the signers of the Declaration and the Constitution. 

The other large room on the ground floor, where the U.S. 
Supreme Court held sessions for a few days in 1791 and again in 
August 1796, housed the supreme court of Pennsylvania and later 
other State and local courts. The paneled walls are decorated with 
massive fluted pilasters of the Roman Doric order. The central 
hall between this room and the Assembly Room is richly adorned 
with a Roman Doric order of columns and entablature, fully 
membered. On the second floor are the Long Room, Governor's 
Council Chamber, and Committee Room. These are furnished to 
represent the activities of the Pennsylvania legislature and gov- 
ernment prior to 1775. 

The Liberty Bell, a worldwide emblem of freedom is displayed in 
a special pavilion on Independence Mall across Chestnut Street 
from Independence Hall. The source of the 2,080-pound bell's 
name is the "Proclaim Liberty" inscription, engraved on it to 
commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn's Charter of 
Privileges (1701). In 1750 the Pennsylvania assembly authorized 
erection of the Independence Hall belltower, and the next year 


ordered a bell from England. After it arrived in 1752, it was 
cracked during testing and was twice recast by local workmen. As 
the official statehouse bell, it was rung on important public 
occasions. In 1777, before the British occupied Philadelphia, the 
Government moved it temporarily to Allentown, Pa. Traditionally 
the bell cracked once again, in 1835, while tolling the death of 
Chief Justice John Marshall. 

The exterior appearances of City Hall and Congress Hall have 
changed little since the 1790's, when many of the signers of the 
Declaration and Constitution served in the Government. The 
interior of Congress Hall has been restored and refurnished as the 
meetingplace of Congress in the 1790's. Exhibits in City Hall 
describe the activities of the U.S. Supreme Court during the same 
period of time, and portray Philadelphia life during the late 18th 
century. Carpenters' Hall, a block east of Independence Square, is 
still owned and operated by the Carpenters' Company of Philadel- 
phia. The hall memorializes the First Continental Congress and 
possesses architectural significance. 

The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by Ben- 
jamin Franklin and the oldest learned society in the United 
States, still maintains its headquarters in Philosophical Hall. Its 
distinguished membership once included 15 of the signers of the 
Declaration and 18 signers of the Constitution. The society's 
collections also contain furniture and documents associated with 
many of these individuals. 

In the years 1789-91, the Library Company of Philadelphia 
(organized in 1731), one of the first public libraries in the United 
States, erected Library Hall, across from Independence Square on 
the corner of Library and Fifth Streets. Some of the signers of the 
Constitution numbered among the members, including company 
founder Franklin. Library Hall, reconstructed in 1957-58 by the 
American Philosophical Society, now serves as its library. The 
Library Company is quartered elsewhere in the city. 

In connection with the U.S. Bicentennial commemoration, the 
National Park Service has rebuilt the Jacob Graff, Jr., House and 
City Tavern. The 3V2-story, brick Graff House, 2 blocks from 
Independence Hall on the southwest corner of Seventh and Mar- 
ket Streets, was in 1791 the residence of signer of the Constitution 
James Wilson. Earlier, in 1776, Jefferson roomed there when he 
drafted the Declaration of Independence. The first floor contains 



Restored Assembly Room, where the Constitution and the Declaration of 
Independence were debated, adopted, and signed. 

displays; the parlor and bedroom that Jefferson lived in on the 
second floor have been restored and are furnished with period 
pieces. City Tavern, at the northwest corner of Walnut and Second 
Streets, where many members of the Constitutional Convention 
and Continental Congress and Government officials stayed while 
in Philadelphia, is furnished and operated as an 18th-century 

At Franklin Court, in the block south of Market Street between 
Third and Fourth Streets, an underground museum contains 
exhibits on Benjamin Franklin's life. A steel-framed structure 
outlines the site of his home (1766-90), whose foundations are 
visible. The exteriors of five other houses having associations with 
Franklin, three of which he built and rented out, have also been 

The Deshler-M orris House, at 5442 Germantown Avenue in 
Germantown, part of the park though located 7 miles away, was 
for short periods in 1793 and 1794, during yellow fever epidemics, 
the residence of President Washington. 

In addition to the preceding buildings, a few sites of structures 


no longer extant that were associated with the signers of the 
Constitution have also been identified. These include those of two 
adjoining homes (1785-90 and 1790-95) of Robert Morris, on the 
southeast corner of Market and Sixth Streets, in the first of which 
Washington stayed with Morris during the Constitutional Con- 
vention (1787) and which the latter made available as the tempo- 
rary Presidential mansion (1790-1800) for Washington and John 
Adams; and the James Wilson home ("Fort Wilson")(1778-90), on 
the southwest corner of Walnut and Third Streets. 

The graves and tombs of five signers of the Constitution are 
located in the park. The bodies of Broom and Franklin are in 
Christ Church Burial Ground, at the southeast corner of Fifth and 
Arch Streets; and those of Butler, Robert Morris, and Wilson in 
the yard of Christ Church, on Second Street between Church and 
Filbert Streets. Fitzsimons was interred in the graveyard of St. 
Mary's Roman Catholic Church, just outside the park on Fourth 
Street between Locust and Spruce Streets. Ingersoll was also 
buried near but beyond the park boundaries, in the cemetery of 
the First Presbyterian Church, at Fourth and Pine. 

Buildings and sites in the park that are mainly of interest in 
other themes of history than that treated in this volume include: 
the First Bank of the United States; Second Bank of the United 
States (Old Custom House); New Hall (Marine Corps Museum); 
Pemberton House (Army-Navy Museum); Philadelphia (Mer- 

The signers of the Declaration and the Constitution used this silver inkstand with 
quill box and shaker. 


chants') Exchange; Bishop White House; Todd House; Mikveh 
Israel Cemetery National Historic Site; and Gloria Dei (Old 
Swede's) Church National Historic Site. 

The structures and properties in 22-acre Independence National 
Historical Park, most of which are open to the public, include 
those owned by the city of Philadelphia, but administered by the 
National Park Service. These consist of Independence Hall, Con- 
gress Hall, City Hall, and Independence Square. In recent years, 
to enhance the setting of the area, the Commonwealth of Pennsyl- 
vania has created Independence Mall in the 3 blocks directly 
north of Independence Hall; the National Park Service adminis- 
ters it. 

Federally owned buildings include the First and Second Banks 
of the United States; the Deshler-M orris House, operated by the 
Germantown Historical Society; Todd House; Bishop White 
House; New Hall; Pemberton House; and the Philadelphia Ex- 
change. Among those privately owned buildings whose owners 
have cooperative agreements with the National Park Service are 
Carpenters' Hall and Christ Church, both National Historic 
Landmarks, and Gloria Dei (Old Swede's) Church and Mikveh 
Israel Cemetery National Historic Sites. The American Philo- 
sophical Society holds title to Philosophical Hall, another 
Landmark and the only privately owned building on the square, 
but also operates Library Hall, on Federal land. 

In 1948, upon recommendation of the Philadelphia National 
Shrines Park Commission, Congress created Independence Na- 
tional Historical Park. This act specified the Federal Govern- 
ment's role in the commemoration of existing historic sites and 
buildings and in the acquisition and management of others. The 
entire undertaking is guided by an advisory commission of distin- 
guished citizens. Many individuals and private and civic organi- 
zations have participated in the preservation and beautification 

Summerseat, Pennsylvania A 

Bucks County, on Clymer Street in the block bounded by Morns and 
H illcrest Avenues, Mornsville. 

Summerseat (Somerseat), sometimes called Summerseat School, 
was erected in the 1770's by Thomas Barclay, a Philadelphia 
merchant. In 1806 signer of the Declaration and the Constitution 


George Clymer acquired the Georgian residence and occupied it 
until his death there 7 years later. 

The five-bay brick-and-stone structure, which was restored in 
1931 and renovated 4 years later, is in good condition. It stands 
two stories high over an elevated basement. A pair of interior 
brick chimneys rise near each end of the slate-covered gable roof. 
The main, or east, facade is of brick; the end walls, probably also 
of brick, are covered with cement; the rear elevation is of field- 
stone. A rectangular transom and triangular pediment surmount 
the paneled front door. Flat arches, of gauged brick, accent the 
first- and second-floor windows of the main facade; segmental 
arches, also of gauged brick, top the windows of the rear elevation 
and of all those in the basement. All first- and second-floor 
windows have solid shutters. 

Central halls divide the four rooms on both floors into pairs. 
Each room is equipped with a fireplace. The stairs, set against the 
south wall of the rear portion of the hall, are lighted by a large 
window overlooking the landing. The walls, floors, and some of 
the woodwork appear to be original. 

The Morrisville School District owns the building, and uses it 
for educational purposes. It is open to the public on a restricted 

Colonel (Charles) Pinckney House, South Carolina ® 

Charleston County. 7 Orange Street. Charleston. 

In 1770, when signer Charles Pinckney was 13 years of age, his 
father, Col. Charles Pinckney, acquired this townhouse. The youth 

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resided in it with his family until 1778. 


Alexander Petrie, who purchased the lot in 1747, apparently 
built the residence at an unknown date prior to 1770. In excellent 
condition, the large, frame, rectangular structure has a dormered 
hip roof, and is 2Vi stories in height over an elevated basement. A 
three-bay central pavilion, surmounted by a pediment containing 
a circular window, dominates the five-bay facade. A small, pedi- 
mented portico shelters the front entrance, which is framed by 
sidelights and a rectangular transom. A wrought-iron railing lines 
the front of the portico and the stairs, on the side. A den tiled 
cornice adorns the roofline of the house, as well as the portico and 
both pediments. Louvered shutters flank the windows. 

A central hall, in two sections, divides the first-floor rooms into 
pairs, two front parlors to the east, or front, and a dining room 
and bedroom to the rear. The stairway is in the rear of the hall. 
The mantels, floors, and large double sliding doors in the parlors 
apparently date from the early 19th century. The mantels and trim 
in the other rooms appear to be original. 

A private residence, the building is not open to the public. 

Governor John Rutledge House, South Carolina A 

Charleston County, 116 Broad Street, Charleston. 

John Rutledge built this house in 1763 and resided in it from the 
time of his marriage until his death in 1800. These years spanned 
his public career. 

Originally the large, brick residence rose two stories over an 
elevated basement. Thomas M. Gadsden added the third floor in 
1853. The five-bay house is in excellent condition. Elaborate inside 
end chimneys stand at each side of the slate-covered roof. A three- 
bay pediment at the roofline and an elaborate two-story cast- and 
wrought-iron porch embellish the front, or south, elevation. The 
corners of the house are marked by quoins, and the windows are 
topped by triangular pediments on the first floor, broken pedi- 
ments on the second, and segmentally arched-hood molding on 
the third. Pilasters, a triangular pediment, and a transom accent 
the central front entrance. A dentiled cornice spans the roofline 
and the pediment. 

A central hall, which contains the stairs near the rear, extends 
through the house and divides the first-floor rooms into pairs. On 

Governor John Rutledge House. 

the second floor, a bedroom is on either side of the short central 
hall, which is at the rear. The entire front half of that level is 
occupied by two large rooms, once a drawing room and a library, 
that could be combined to form a large ballroom. The third floor 
contains four chambers. 

The parquet flooring of the first and second stories is original. 
The eight marble mantels on these floors probably date from the 
mid-19th century. Partitions and false ceilings have been in- 
stalled, but no significant structural alterations have been made. 
Law offices occupy the building, which is not open to the public. 
Next door is the residence of Edward Rutledge, John's brother, 
who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. That house, 
too, is a National Historic Landmark. 


Snee Farm, South Carolina A 

Charleston County, on Long Point Road (County Road 97), about one mile 
west of Ocean Highway (U.S. 17-701), some 4'h miles northeast of Mount 

Charles Pinckney inherited this farm after the death of his father, 
Col. Charles Pinckney, in 1782, and held title to it until he 
succumbed in 1824. The younger Pinckney entertained President 
George Washington there during his tour of the South in 1791. 

The square clapboarded structure, built by Colonel Pinckney in 
1754, is still largely original. It was restored in 1936, and is in 
excellent condition. Five bays wide, it rests on brick piles, and is 
1 l h stories in height. Two large, corbeled brick chimneys rise from 
the rear, or north, slope of the gable roof. On its front are three 
gabled dormers. A short flight of open-string masonry stairs lead 
up to the open front porch, which spans the front elevation and 
whose shed roof is supported by six evenly spaced, square col- 
umns. A four-light, rectangular transom tops the front door, and 
louvered shutters accent the first-floor windows. The flanking, 
symmetrical one-story frame wings at the rear corners of the main 
house were added in 1936. 

The center hall, divided by an arch into two sections, contains 
the stairway, which is set against the north portion of the east 
wall of the hall. The hall walls have vertical paneling and a dado. 
A large gunroom and a smaller bedroom occupy the east side of 

Snee Farm. 


the first floor; a spacious parlor and a dining room, which con- 
tains a shell cabinet, the west. The rooms have wide-boarded 
floors, and, except for the bedroom, each features a wooden dado. 
Originally, the second floor contained four bedrooms and a center 
hall; one bedroom has since been subdivided to create two baths. 
Snee Farm, a private residence, is not open to visitors. 

Blount Mansion, Tennessee A 

Knox County, 200 W. Hill Avenue, Knoxville. 

In 1792 William Blount, Governor of Southwest Territory (now 
Tennessee), built this house, which sits on a slope overlooking the 
Tennessee River. The capitol of the Territory, the residence be- 
came known as the "Governor's Mansion." Blount had moved to 
Knoxville early that year, after staying temporarily with William 
Cobb at Rocky Mount, along the Watauga River, and his family 
soon joined him. They lived in a nearby log cabin until their home 
was completed. At the time, it was an imposing structure, the first 
two-story framehouse in the Territory and one of the first on the 
trans-Allegheny frontier. 

Blount occupied the residence from its completion late in 1792 
until his death there in 1800, though in 1797 because of financial 
difficulties he transferred title to his half-brother Willie. William 
conducted the business of the Territory, including preparations for 
statehood, from his office, a separate building on the grounds. 
Elegant parties were held in the house, which remained the social 
and political center of the area after statehood was attained in 
1796. Among those Blount entertained were Andrew Jackson; 
John Sevier, Tennessee's first Governor; the French botanist 
Andre Michaux; Louis Philippe, later King of France; and various 
Indian chiefs. 

Blount had chosen the site for his domicile in 1791, not long 
after he established the capital at White's Fort and named it 
Knoxville after his friend and superior in the conduct of Indian 
affairs, Henry Knox, Secretary of War in Washington's Cabinet. 
Construction was a remarkable feat in view of the difficulty in 
transportiiig materials to such a remote wilderness. Finished 
woodwork, flooring, pine paneling, and exterior weatherboarding 
were shipped by way of the French Broad and Tennessee Rivers. 

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Blount Mansion. 

Window panes were carried from Virginia by packtrain. Other 
materials were produced locally; the bricks used in the foundation 
and chimneys were made at a nearby creek and fired on the site, 
and heavy timbers were probably sawed at a mill along the creek. 

The main residence and the outbuildings, including the Gover- 
nor's office and the kitchen, at the rear of the mansion on its east 
and west sides, respectively, have been restored and are in excel- 
lent condition. The early detached kitchen had been dismantled 
and rebuilt along the rear of the house. The addition was removed 
and many of the same materials were used in reconstructing the 
kitchen on its original foundation. 

The gable-roofed residence consists of a two-story, central sec- 
tion, flanked by step-down, one-story wings. The central portion 
and the west wing were built first; Blount later added the east 
wing over a daylight basement, to provide more space for his 
growing family and visitors. Exterior brick chimneys mark the 

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Parlor of the Blount Mansion. 

ends of each section. Rectangular transoms top the paneled front 
door and the separate east-wing entrance. The windows have 
louvered shutters. 

The formal parlor occupies the east wing. The basement below, 
which may be reached via a narrow stairway from a trap door in a 
hall between the parlor and dining room and also by a separate 
outside entrance, was probably Blount's private office and is now 
a gift shop. Other rooms include the Pine Room, paneled in the 
North Carolina pine imported by Blount; and the Green Room, 
which served as a family room and was used for social functions. 
The interior features period furnishings and portraits of Blount 
and other leaders of his day. 

In 1925 the Bonny Kate Chapter of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution and the East Tennessee Historical Society, 
aided by the city, State, and private individuals, saved the build- 
ing from destruction. The Blount Mansion Association, which has 
owned the residence since 1930, has completed its restoration and 
now administers it as a historic house museum. The Knoxville 
Garden Club planted and maintains an 18th-century garden on 
the grounds. The graves of Blount and his wife are 3 blocks to the 
north in the graveyard of the First Presbyterian Church. 


Rocky Mount, Tennessee ® 

Sullivan County, just off U.S. 11E-19W-411, about 7 miles northeast of 
Johnson City. 

This log house, also known as the Cobb-Massengill Home, derives 
its name from its location atop a high hill, covered with limestone 
outcroppings, that overlooks the Watauga River. The residence 
served as the temporary capitol of the Southwest Territory for 
about 18 months, beginning in October 1790. 

During this period, William Blount, the newly appointed Gover- 
nor of the Territory and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the 
Southern Department who had just arrived from North Carolina, 
was a guest of Rocky Mount's owner, William Cobb. In 1791 
Blount established Knoxville as the capital at the site of White's 
Fort, near the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers, 
where he had signed the Treaty of the Holston (July 1791) with 
the Cherokee Indians, and moved there early in 1792. 

Cobb, one of the first Watauga settlers, followed his brother-in- 
law Henry Massengill, Sr., to the area from eastern North Caro- 
lina, where he may have known Blount. About 1770 Cobb built 
Rocky Mount, one of the first frontier houses in the far eastern 
section of present Tennessee. Two stories in height and distin- 
guished for its period and place, it was constructed of white-oak 
logs from nearby forests and chinked with clay. Pegs were used to 
secure the oak shingles and the large rafters. The glass windows, 
rare on the frontier, were a mark of prestige. 

Cobb, who was wealthy by local standards, not only entertained 
his guests lavishly, but also took an active part in community life. 
In 1780, during the War for Independence, he aided and outfitted 
some of the frontiersmen who were en route to Sycamore Shoals to 
rendezvous for the Battle of Kings Mountain, S.C. Later Andrew 
Jackson, who was related to Mrs. Cobb, also visited Rocky Mount 
frequently, staying there for 6 weeks in 1788 while waiting for his 
license to practice law in Jonesboro, Tenn. Another guest, besides 
Jackson and Blount, was Daniel Boone. About 1795 the Cobbs 
moved and the Massengill family acquired Rocky Mount, where 
they later hosted Andrew Johnson. 

The residence has been restored to its original appearance and 
is in excellent condition. Weatherboarding, which once covered 
the original logs, has been removed, and the chinking between 
them has been coated with cement to preserve it. A large, hipped 


brick chimney rises from the reconstructed wood-shingled, gabled 
roof of the main house, and another from that of the one-story ell 
to the rear. A "dogtrot" between the ell and the front part of the 
residence provides access to both sections as well as to a covered 
porch, on the rear under the gable on the inner side of the ell. 
Single windows are on either side of the paneled front door. 
Matching white-oak logs from other sites were utilized in rebuild- 
ing the separate, one-story kitchen, including the scullery, on its 
original foundation. 

The main building contains nine rooms, including those in the 
floored attic. The original wood interior paneling has all been 
restored. The mantels of the large fireplaces are all of native pine. 
A decorated stringer and a walnut handrail are features of the 
paneled stairway. The house is furnished in period pieces, some of 
which belonged to the Cobb family. On the grounds, which are 
attractively landscaped, is a Colonial-style brick museum that 
houses exhibits on pioneer life and regional history. 

In 1959, stimulated by the Tennessee chapter of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution, the State purchased the property 
from the estate of John M. Massengill. Using State funds, the 
Tennessee Historical Commission and the Rocky Mount Histori- 
cal Association of the Tri -Cities restored the structure. It is open 
from April to November. 

Blair (John) House, Virginia ® 

Duke of Gloucester Street near Nassau Street, Colonial Williamsburg. 

John Blair apparently lived in this residence for the greater part 
of his life, but little is known about its other history. The older of 
its two sections dates from the early 18th century. The 1 Mi-story, 
frame structure had brick exterior end chimneys. A pair of win- 
dows flanked the central front entrance. A small shed may have 
been attached at the rear. 

Later, likely in the third quarter of the 18th century, the smaller 
western portion, including a new staircase, was added on the 
same axis to create the existing seven-bay facade. A separate 
front entrance was provided, and the chimney on the west end of 
the earlier structure was enlarged to form the present interior 
chimney. The stone steps at both entrances were also installed. 

The Colonial residence was restored in 1930, and is in excellent 

Blair House. 

condition. The five unevenly spaced hipped-roof dormers on the 
south, or front, side of the gable roof were rebuilt and modeled 
after an unaltered rear dormer. Shutters, corner boards, and eaves 
cornice, as well as most of the interior trim, were also replaced. 
Some of the frame of the house was also renewed, and the west 
chimney was rebuilt. The louvered double door of the addition is 
original, and served as a model for the reconstructed door of the 
earlier section. Both are topped by rectangular transoms. Paneled 
shutters flank the windows. 

Both entrances open to hallways. In the older section, a room is 
situated on each side of the central hall; the addition consists of a 
hall and a large room. The second floor contains three bedrooms. 
Original features include the marble mantel in the large west 
room, the east stairway, and most of the floors. Although the 
interior walls were altered and rebuilt in 1923, some original 
partitions, of poplar filled with 4 -inch-thick brick nogging, and 
some oak clapboards of the west wall of the early structure have 
been preserved. 

Blair House, used as a duplex residence, is not open to visitors. 

George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia S 

Westmoreland County, just east of Va. 3, about 38 miles east of Fredericks- 
burg; address: Washington's Birthplace, Va. 22575. 

The memorial mansion at this site along the Potomac symbolizes 
Wakefield, where Washington was born on February 22, 1732, and 


spent the first 3 years of his life. His family then moved farther up 
the river to the Little Hunting Creek plantation that later came to 
be known as Mount Vernon. 

In 1717 or 1718 Augustine, George's father, bought land front- 
ing on Popes Creek, a mile southeast of his home on Bridges 
Creek. On this tract, some three-quarters of a mile above the point 
where the creek empties into the Potomac, probably in the 1722-26 
period he built the residence that became known as Wakefield. He 
and his family soon moved in. His first wife, Jane Butler, died in 
late 1729. Two years later, he brought his new wife, Mary Ball, to 
reside there. 

George Washington, who was born the next year, as their first 
child, never owned Wakefield. Upon the death of his father in 
1743, it passed to George's older half-brother, Augustine, Jr. At 
that time, George, aged 11, may have returned for awhile to attend 
a nearby school. Because he was close to his half-brother, in 
subsequent years he visited often. 

When Augustine, Jr., died in 1762, his son William Augustine 
was only 5 years old. The latter inherited the plantation in 1774, 
when his mother passed away. Although he was only 17, that 
same year he married and assumed responsibility for the estate. 
After fire accidentally destroyed the home in 1779 or 1780, he 
moved to another location. The house was never rebuilt. 

For many years, the site of Wakefield lay neglected and forgot- 
ten. The first person to place a marker there was George Washing- 
ton Parke Custis, grandson of Martha and erstwhile ward of 
George Washington. In June 1816 he held a memorial ceremony at 
the probable house site and placed a freestone slab marker; 
eventually it disappeared. 

In 1856 William Lewis Washington, a family heir, offered to 
donate a small plot of land at the site of the house and the nearby 
family burial ground to the State. Two years later, Virginia 
accepted the donation, planning to mark and preserve the sites, 
but the political turmoil generated by the approach of the Civil 
War was likely the reason this was not done. 

In 1882 the State donated the property to the Federal Govern- 
ment, which the next year acquired additional acreage. In 1895-96 
the Government placed a granite shaft at the site. In 1923 the 
Wakefield National Memorial Association organized to reconsti- 
tute and preserve the plantation as a national shrine. Several 


years later, Congress authorized the creation of a house at Wake- 
field as nearly as possible like the one built by Augustine Wash- 
ington. By 1931-32 the association, aided by John D. Rockefeller, 
Jr., had transferred to the Government enough land to bring the 
holdings to about 394 acres. 

Extensive research failed to yield reliable information about the 
appearance of the birthplace house. Consequently, the memorial 
house is only a general representation of a Virginia plantation 
residence of the 18th century. Its design is based on tradition and 
surviving houses of the period. Archeological excavations by the 
National Park Service and others, however, have revealed founda- 
tion remnants that might well be those of the original structure. 

The memorial house was built in 1931-32, at which time work- 
ers moved the granite shaft to its present location, near the 
entrance to the national monument. The Federal Government 
paid part of the construction and landscaping costs. 

The typically Georgian residence, of brick made from clay 
obtained in an adjoining field, is IV2 stories high. It has pairs of - 
buttressed chimneys at each end and a gabled roof. Four rooms 
are downstairs and four upstairs. Central hallways divide the 
chambers on each floor. A tilt-top table in the dining room is the 
only piece of furniture that may have been in the original resi- 

Washington Birthplace National Monument. 





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dence. The rest of the furnishings, however, date from the first 
half of the 18th century. 

About 50 feet from the house is a typical Colonial frame kitchen, 
built on the traditional site. One of its two rooms is furnished to 
represent a plantation kitchen during the period of Washington's 
youth; the other displays artifacts recovered on the grounds. 

Plantings near the house may be derived from those that grew 
on the place when Washington lived there as a boy. The nearby 
garden features only those flowers, vines, herbs, and berries 
common to Virginia gardens of his time. South of the garden, a 
grove of eastern red cedar trees covers Burnt House Point, which 
juts out into Popes Creek. 

About a mile northwest of the memorial mansion, on the banks 
of Bridges Creek, are the family burial plot and the site of the 
home that John Washington, George's great-grandfather, pur- 
chased in 1664. The burial plot, surrounded by a brick wall, 
includes the graves of George Washington's father, grandfather, 
great-grandfather, and half-brother Augustine, Jr. George was 
buried at Mount Vernon. 

Additional features of the national monument are a ''living 
farm" and a Morgan horse farm. The former recreates a typical 
agricultural setting of Washington's day. The livestock, poultry, 
and crops are the same types and varieties raised then and are 
nurtured by colonial methods. The latter farm breeds Morgan 
horses, a special stock dating back to the late 18th century that the 
National Park Service uses for ranger patrol. 

Montpelier, Virginia A 

Orange County, on Va. 20, about 4 miles west of Orange. 

Montpelier, or Montpellier, was James Madison's residence for 
nearly all his life. Born at his grandmother's home in King George 
County in 1751, he soon traveled with his mother to his father's 
farm, a tract in Orange County that had been in the family since 
1723 and that became the nucleus of Montpelier. There, he first 
lived in a modest wooden house, constructed by his grandfather, 
Ambrose Madison, about two decades earlier and probably located 
a half mile south of the present mansion. The early, or central, 
portion of the present Georgian residence was constructed by his 


father, also named James, about 1760. When the latter died in 
1801, he bequeathed the house and part of the estate to his oldest 
son, James. 

Madison's frequent absences were mainly for education or 
public service. Upon completion of his second term as President, 
he and his wife, Dolley, retired to Montpelier. They held court for a 
succession of visitors, including the Marquis de Lafayette, James 
Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, and Daniel Webster. After Madison 
died at Montpelier in 1836, Mrs. Madison returned to Washington, 
D.C., where she resided until she succumbed 13 years later. They 
are both buried at Montpelier. 

The mansion was originally a brick, rectangular structure, two 
stories in height over an elevated basement. It consisted of two 
large rooms and a central hall on each floor. During his first term 
as President, in 1809-11, Madison retained architects William 
Thornton and Benjamin H. Latrobe to remodel the house. The 
former enlarged the main building, and the latter added step- 
down, one-story wings. The exterior brick walls were also stuc- 
coed. Apparently the huge Doric portico was added at a later time. 
In 1907 the wings were enlarged to 2 l h stories. 

Madison, who was interested in horticulture and agriculture, 
planned the gardens and landscaping of the estate, which had 
grown to more than 1,000 acres, many of which were under 
cultivation. Tobacco and corn were the principal crops. During his 
absences, Madison left an overseer in charge. 

The mansion and the beautifully landscaped grounds have been 


carefully maintained. Three-bay wings flank the seven-bay cen- 
tral section of the hip-roofed mansion. Four huge Doric columns 
support the two-story portico, which has a triangular pediment 
containing a semi-circular window. The double-door front en- 
trance is framed by sidelights and a fanlight. A pair of chimneys 
stand at either end of the main building, and a chimney at the end 
of each wing. A dentiled cornice adorns the roofline and the 

Privately owned, the estate, except for the Madison family 
cemetery, is not accessible to the public. 

Mount Vernon, Virginia A 

Fairfax County, at the southern terminus of the George Washington 
Memorial Parkway, about 7 mites south of Alexandria. 

Overlooking the Potomac River in a setting of serene elegance is 
George Washington's estate, Mount Vernon. Its sweeping lawns, 
beautiful gardens, magnificent mansion, and carefully planned 
outbuildings superbly represent a Virginia plantation home. 
Many shrines commemorate Washington as President, military 
leader, and statesman, but Mount Vernon best reveals the planter 
and country gentleman. 

Mount Vernon was Washington's home for several years during 
his childhood and all his adult life — though he was absent for 
long periods while serving the Nation. At the estate, he enter- 
tained many U.S. and world dignitaries. He also hosted the Mount 
Vernon Conference (March 1785), after its initial sessions at 
nearby Alexandria. At this conference, whose goals he sympa- 
thized with but in which he took no direct part because he was not 
a delegate, representatives of Maryland and Virginia reached 
agreement on solutions to a variety of interstate problems. The 
success of this meeting led to the Annapolis Convention (Septem- 
ber 1786), attended by representatives of five States. It was the 
immediate forerunner of the Constitutional Convention (May- 
September 1787). 

The history of the estate dates back to the late 17th century. In 
1674 John Washingon, the great-grandfather of George, and 
Nicholas Spencer obtained a 5,000-acre grant along the Potomac, 
and 16 years later their heirs divided it. In 1726 Mildred 


Washington fMrs. Roger Gregory), who had inherited the 
Washington half, which was then known as the Hunting Creek 
Plantation, sold it to her brother Augustine, George's father. 

Augustine probably constructed the first portion of the present 
mansion over the foundations of a smaller, earlier dwelling that 
may have been erected by his father, Lawrence Washington, or 
his grandfather. From about 1735 until 1738, Augustine and his 
family, including young George, resided there after living at 
Wakefield, and in the latter year moved to the "Strother estate" 
(Ferry Farm), along the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericks- 
burg. In 1740 Augustine deeded Mount Vernon to his eldest son, 
Lawrence, George's half-brother, who settled there at the time of 
his marriage 3 years later, and renamed the plantation Mount 
Vernon after Admiral Vernon, under whom he had served in the 
Caribbean. George spent part of his youth at the estate with 
Lawrence, who may have modified or rebuilt the house. 

In 1754, or 2 years after Lawrence's death, George leased the 
property, then over 2,600 acres, from Lawrence's widow who had a 
lifetime right to it; upon her death, in 1761, George inherited it. In 
1757-58, in preparation for his marriage the following year to 
Martha Custis, George thoroughly rebuilt the lVfe-story Georgian 
structure, which then contained four rooms bisected by a central 

Mount Vernon. 


hall on each floor. He enlarged the residence to 2 l h stories and 
remodeled it to a more impressive Palladian form. Because of his 
long absences on military duty in the French and Indian War 
until late in 1759, the bulk of the construction was supervised by 
William Fairfax, a neighbor. 

For the next 15 years after his marriage in 1759, Washington 
lived as a prosperous planter, and made no further changes of 
consequence in his residence. In 1773 he decided to enlarge it, but 
he had hardly begun to do so when, in 1774-75, he went to 
Philadelphia to serve in the First and Second Continental Con- 
gresses. In the latter year, he was appointed as commander in 
chief of the Continental Army. 

While Washington was away during the War for Independence, 
a distant kinsman, Lund Washington, carried out his plans for the 
estate. Lund enlarged the relatively modest main house from five 
to nine bays; constructed the piazza; added the detached, flanking 
wings, which connected to the central mansion by means of 
curving light arcades; built outbuildings; landscaped the grounds; 
and extended the gardens. 

George found the mansion almost completed in 1781, when he 
stopped off on his way to and from Yorktown. After resigning his 
commission 2 years later, he returned to Mount Vernon; and in 
1787 concluded the remodeling, when he placed the large octag- 
onal cupola on the center of the roof. 

That summer, Washington again traveled to Philadelphia, 
where he served as president of the Constitutional Convention. 
Two years later, elected as U.S. President, he departed once more 
and for the following 8 years was able to return only about twice a 
year. In 1797 he did so a final time, to retire; he died at Mount 
Vernon 2 years later. His wife lived there until she passed away in 
1802. His nephew, Bushrod Washington, inherited the property, 
which remained in the family until 1858. 

The mansion is an excellent example of Georgian architecture. 
Most striking is the high-columned, two-story piazza, which 
extends the full length of the structure and overlooks the Potomac. 
A triangular pediment tops the west elevation. Both the latter and 
the river facade have a central entrance and two side entrances. 
Two large interior chimneys mark the earlier ends of the dor- 
mered, hip-roofed mansion. A dentiled cornice adorns the roofline 
and the pediment. The exterior wood siding is beveled, and its 


paint contains sand to give the appearance of stone. Windows of 
both facades are shuttered. 

On the first floor are the musicroom, west parlor, banquet hall, a 
bedchamber, dining room, and library. The second floor contains 
the blue bedroom, Lafayette's bedroom, the yellow bedroom, Nelly 
Custis' bedroom, and George Washington's bedroom. The third 
floor includes three bedrooms and two storerooms. The kitchen is 
outside but adjacent to the house. 

A courtyard and bowling green, flanked by flower and kitchen 
gardens, extend from the west, or land, front of the house. To the 
north of the flower garden is a greenhouse. Various outbuildings, 
including smokehouse, workshops, and stables, have been restored 
in detail, as have the gardens and lawn. One modern building, built 
in 1928 in the same style as the other outbuildings, serves as a 
museum. The tombs of George and Martha Washington lie to the 
south of the mansion. 

At its peak, during Washington's lifetime, the plantation con- 
tained more than 8,000 acres and was partitioned into five farms. 
After his death, four of them were divided and subdivided. By 
1858 the estate had dwindled to 200 acres. 

In 1858 the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, 
concerned about the condition of the property, acquired title from 
Washington's great-grandnephew, John A. Washington, Jr. He 
had been unable, while operating the farm, to handle the numer- 
ous visitors or properly care for the house and grounds. By that 
time, none of the original furnishings remained. The association 
restored the buildings and grounds; eventually gained title to an 
additional 300 acres; and procured period pieces, many of them 


The Constitution and Its History 

Text of the Constitution 
and Amendments 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a 
more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic 
Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the 
general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to 
ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this 
Constitution for the United States of America. 


Section. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a 
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House 
of Representatives. 

Section. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of 
Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and 
the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for 
Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature. 

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the 
Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United 
States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in 
which he shall be chosen. 

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the 
several States which may be included within this Union, according to their 



respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole 
Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of 
Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. 
The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first 
Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent 
Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The 
Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, 
but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such 
enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled 
to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence 
Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, 
Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North 
Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three. 

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the 
Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such 

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other 
Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. 

Section. 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two 
Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; 
and each Senator shall have one Vote. 

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first 
Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The 
Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of 
the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, 
and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third 
may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by 
Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any 
State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the 
next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies. 

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of 
thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who 
shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be 

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, 
but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. 

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro 
tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the 
Office of President of the United States. 

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When 
sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the 
President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And 
no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the 
Members present. 

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to 
removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of 
honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted 


shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and 
Punishment, according to Law. 

Section. 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for 
Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the 
Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or 
alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators. 

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such 
Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by 
Law appoint a different Day. 

Section. 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns 
and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall 
constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn 
from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of 
absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House 
may provide. 

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its 
Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two 
thirds, expel a Member. 

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to 
time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment 
require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on 
any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on 
the Journal. 

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the 
Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other 
Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting. 

Section. 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a 
Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of 
the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, 
Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their 
Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and 
returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, 
they shall not be questioned in any other Place. 

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was 
elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United 
States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall 
have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office 
under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his 
Continuance in Office. 

Section. 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House* of 
Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments 
as on other Bills. 

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the 
Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the 
United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, 
with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who 
shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to 


reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall 
agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the 
other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by 
two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the 
Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the 
Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on 
the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by 
the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been 
presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had 
signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in 
which Case it shall not be a Law. 

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate 
and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of 
Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States ; and 
before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being 
disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and 
House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations 
prescribed in the Case of a Bill. 

Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, 
Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common 
Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts 
and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; 

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States; 

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several 
States, and with the Indian tribes; 

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on 
the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; 

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix 
the Standard of Weights and Measures; 

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and 
current Coin of the United States; 

To establish Post Offices and post Roads; 

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for 
limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their 
respective Writings and Discoveries; 

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court; 

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, 
and Offences against the Law of Nations; 

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules 
concerning Captures on Land and Water; 

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use 
shall be for a longer Term than two Years; 

To provide and maintain a Navy; 

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval 

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, 
suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; 


To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for 
governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the 
United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the 
Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the 
discipline prescribed by Congress; 

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such 
District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular 
States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the 
Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all 
Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which 
the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock- 
Yards, and other needful Buildings; And 

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into 
Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this 
Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any 
Department or Officer thereof. 

Section. 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of 
the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited 
by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, 
but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten 
dollars for each Person. 

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, 
unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may 
require it. 

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. 

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to 
the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken. 

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State. 

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue 
to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, 
or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another. 

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of 
Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the 
Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from 
time to time. 

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no 
Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the 
Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or 
Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State. 

Section. 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or 
Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit 
Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in 
Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law 
impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility. 

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or 
Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for 
executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and 
Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of 


the Treasury of the United States ; and all such Laws shall be subject to the 
Revision and Controul of the Congress. 

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of 
Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any 
Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or 
engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as 
will not admit of delay. 


Section. 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the 
United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four 
Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be 
elected, as follows 

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may 
direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and 
Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no 
Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit 
under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. 

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for 
two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same 
State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted 
for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and 
certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United 
States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate 
shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all 
the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having 
the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a 
Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more 
than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, 
then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one 
of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five 
highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the 
President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, 
the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this 
purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the 
States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In 
every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the 
greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if 
there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall 
chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President. 

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the 
Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same 
throughout the United States. 

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United 
States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to 
the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office 
who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been 
fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. 


In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, 
Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said 
Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may 
by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, 
both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then 
act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability 
be removed, or a President shall be elected. 

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Com- 
pensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the 
Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within 
that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them. 

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following 
Oath or Affirmation: — "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 
faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to 
the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the 
United States." 

Section. 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army 
and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, 
when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the 
Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive 
Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective 
Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for 
Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment. 

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, 
to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and 
he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, 
shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of 
the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose 
Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be 
established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of 
such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the 
Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments. 

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen 
during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall 
expire at the End of their next Session. 

Section. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress 
Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Considera- 
tion such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on 
extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in 
Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time' of 
Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; 
he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take 
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the 
Officers of the United States. 

Section. 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the 
United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and 
Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. 



Section. 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in 
one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from 
time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and 
inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, 
at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not 
be diminished during their Continuance in Office. 

Section. 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and 
Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and 
Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; — to all 
Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — to all 
Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; — to Controversies to which 
the United States shall be a Party; — to Controversies between two or more 
States; — between a State and Citizens of another State; — between Citizens 
of different States, — between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands 
under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens 
thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects. 

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, 
and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have 
original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme 
Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such 
Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. 

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by 
Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall 
have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial 
shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed. 
Section. 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in 
levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them 
Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the 
Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open 

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, 
but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture 
except during the Life of the Person attainted. 


Section. 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the 
public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And 
the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such 
Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof. 

Section. 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges 
and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. 

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, 
who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on 
Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be 
delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime. 

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, 


escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation 
therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered 
up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due. 
Section. 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this 
Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction 
of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more 
States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the 
States concerned as well as of the Congress. 

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules 
and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to 
the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed 
as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State. 

Section. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this 
Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them 
against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the 
Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic 

article, v. 

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it 
necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the 
Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call 
a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be 
valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when 
ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by 
Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of 
Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no 
Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight 
hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses 
in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its 
Consent, shall be deprived of it's equal Suffrage in the Senate. 


All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption 
of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this 
Constitution, as under the Confederation. 

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be 
made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, 
under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the 
Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in 
the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. 

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members 
of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, 
both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath 
or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever 
be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the 
United States. 



The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for 
the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the 

Done in Convention by the Unan- 
imous Consent of the States present 
the Seventeenth Day of September in 
the Year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and Eighty seven and 
of the Independance of the United 
States of America the Twelfth. In 
Witness whereof We have hereunto 
subscribed our Names. 


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or 
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or 
of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to 
petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, 
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. 


No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the 
consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed 
by law. 


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and 
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, 
and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath 
or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and 
the persons or things to be seized. 


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous 
crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in 


cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual 
service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for 
the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be 
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be 
deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall 
private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. 


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy 
and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the 
crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously 
ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the 
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have 
compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the 
assistance of counsel for his defence. 


In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed 
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact 
tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United 
States, than according to the rules of the common law. 


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor 
cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be 
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. 


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor 
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to 
the people. 


The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend 
to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the 
United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of 
any Foreign State. 


The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for 
President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an 
inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their 


ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person 
voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons 
voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and 
of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and 
transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed 
to the President of the Senate; — The President of the Senate shall, in the 
presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the 
certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the 
greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such 
number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no 
person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest 
numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the 
House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the 
President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, 
the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this 
purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the 
states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if 
the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the 
right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March 
next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the 
case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. — The 
person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the 
Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of 
Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two 
highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a 
quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of 
Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a 
choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President 
shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. 


Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a 
punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, 
shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their 

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 


Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and 
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of 
the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law 
which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United 
States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, 
without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction 
the equal protection of the laws. 

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several 
States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number 


of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right 
to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice 
President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive 
and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is 
denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one 
years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, 
except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of 
representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number 
of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens 
twenty-one years of age in such State. 

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in 
Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, 
civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having 
previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the 
United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive 
or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United 
States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or 
given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of 
two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. 

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, 
authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and 
bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be 
questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or 
pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion 
against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any 
slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and 

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate 
legislation, the provisions of this article. 


Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be 
denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, 
color, or previous condition of servitude. 

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 


The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from 
whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, 
and without regard to any census or enumeration. 


The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from 
each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years ; and each Senator 
shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications 
requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. 


When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, 
the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such 
vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the 
executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the 
vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. 

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or 
term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the 


Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the 
manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the 
importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States 
and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is 
hereby prohibited. 

Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent 
power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been 
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the 
several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the 
date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress. 


The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or 
abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. 

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate 


Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at 
noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and 
Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which 
such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the 
terms of their successors shall then begin. 

Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, 
and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless 
they shall by law appoint a different day. 

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the 
President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall 
become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time 
fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed 
to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a 
President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for 
the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall 
have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in 


which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act 
accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified. 

Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death 
of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose 
a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, 
and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate 
may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have 
devolved upon them. 

Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October 
following the ratification of this article. 

Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been 
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three- 
fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its 

amendment xxi 

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of 
the United States is hereby repealed. 

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Terri- 
tory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of 
intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited. 

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been 
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several 
States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of 
the submission hereof to the States by the Congress. 


Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more 
than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as 
President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person 
was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more 
than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office 
of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not 
prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as 
President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative 
from holding the office of President or acting as President during the 
remainder of such term. 

Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been 
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three- 
fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its 
submission to the States by the Congress. 


Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the 
United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct: 


A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole 
number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District 
would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least 
populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, 
but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President 
and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State ; and they shall meet 
in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of 

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 


Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any 
primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for 
President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representatives in Congress, 
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason 
of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. 

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 


Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his 
death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President. 

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice 
President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take 
office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress. 

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro 
tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his 
written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of 
his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the 
contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President 
as Acting President. 

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the 
principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as 
Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the 
Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written 
declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties 
of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and 
duties of the office as Acting President. 

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of 
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written 
declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties 
of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal 
officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may 
by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of 
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written 
declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties 


of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within 
forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within 
twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if 
Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is 
required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that 
the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the 
Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; 
otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office. 


Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen 
years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United 
States or by any State on account of age. 

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 

History of the Document 

The veneration of the American people for the parchment, or 
engrossed, copies of the Declaration of Independence (1776), the 
Constitution (1787), and the Bill of Rights (1789) has been reflect- 
ed in the painstaking care bestowed on them. After long odyssies, 
part of which they shared, today they are enshrined in Exhibition 
Hall of the National Archives Building. The Constitution and Bill 
of Rights, which were not regularly exhibited to the public until 
1924 and 1952 respectively, are in far better physical condition 
than the Declaration, which has been displayed continuously 
since 1841 except for one period of three decades. 

On September 20, 1787, Maj. William Jackson, secretary of the 
Constitutional Convention, delivered the engrossed copy of the 
Constitution to his counterpart in the Continental Congress, 
Charles Thomson, who already was responsible for safeguarding 
the Declaration of Independence. He likely stored the two docu- 
ments first in City Hall, where Congress was meeting, and then 
between October 1788 and April 1789 at the two-room office on the 
southeast corner of Broad and Pearl Streets that Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs John Jay vacated for temporary use by the 
Continental Congress while City Hall (which became Federal 
Hall) was being renovated. 

Although the new Government was formally launched when 
George Washington was inaugurated on the balcony of Federal 


Hall on April 30, 1789, Confederation officers maintained continu- 
ity until the Executive Branch could be organized, and Thomson 
probably moved into the hall with the new Congress. When he 
resigned on July 23, at Washington's request he turned over the 
Constitution and Declaration to Roger Alden, who had been 
Deputy Secretary of the Continental Congress. 

The legislation creating the Department of State (September 15, 
1789) charged it with the protection of important state papers. 
Accordingly, Acting Secretary John Jay who was in charge until 
appointee Thomas Jefferson could return from France and take 
over early in 1790, assumed jurisdiction over the Declaration and 
Constitution, and within a couple of weeks the newly issued 
parchment copy of the Bill of Rights. During this period, they 
were undoubtedly stored in the Department's temporary offices on 
lower Broadway. 

In late 1790 the Government moved to Philadelphia. Except 
possibly for brief intervals when they may have been among the 
state papers evacuated to Trenton, N.J., during yellow -fever 
epidemics, the three documents remained there for a decade in 
successive State Department offices on Market Street, the southeast 
corner of Arch and Sixth Streets, on North Alley, and the northeast 
corner of Fifth and Chestnut Streets. 

In 1800 the documents were shipped by sea to the new Capital, 
Washington, D.C. They were apparently kept for a couple of 
months in the Department's temporary offices in the old, or first, 
Treasury Building, just east of the White House at 15th Street and 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., on the southern end of the site of the 
present Treasury Building; and then for a time at another tempo- 
rary location, in one of the "Six Buildings," between 21st and 22d 
Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Likely in 1801 the 
Department relocated to the War Office Building, just west of the 
White House at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The 
state papers remained there until late in August 1814, during the 
War of 1812, when British troops invaded the Capital. Shortly 
before they arrived, at the direction of Secretary of State James 
Monroe, the papers were packed in linen sacks and transported in 
carts to an unused gristmill belonging to an Edgar Patterson, on 
the Virginia side of the Potomac River about 2 miles above Chain 
Bridge. Before long, because a nearby cannon factory made the site 
a likely military target, a State Department clerk borrowed wagons 


from farmers in the neighborhood and moved the papers to an 
empty house in Leesburg, Va., about 35 miles away. It was locked 
and the keys were given to a Reverend Littlejohn. 

Within a few weeks, after the British had departed and the 
threat had subsided, in September 1814 the documents were 
brought back to Washington and temporarily kept at a private 
residence on the south side of G Street near 18th Street NW. that 
the State Department temporarily occupied until the fire-scarred 
War Office Building was ready for reoccupancy in April 1816. 

In September 1819, the Department moved the Declaration, Con- 
stitution, and Bill of Rights to its new headquarters at 15th Street 
and Pennsylvania Avenue NW., on the north end of the site of the 
present Treasury Building. There they remained together until 
1841, when the Declaration was taken away and displayed to the 
public at the New Patent Office Building. 

In 1866 the Constitution and Bill of Rights were moved to 
premises the Department leased on 14th Street near S Street NW. 
In July 1875 they made their final move within the Department, to 
the partially completed State, War, and Navy Building (present 
Executive Office Building), at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave- 
nue NW. Two years later, the Declaration, which had just been 
exhibited in Philadelphia (1876-77) as part of the Centennial 
celebration of independence, rejoined the Constitution and Bill of 
Rights in the State, War, and Navy Building, though the Declara- 
tion continued to be displayed. By this time, its long exposure to 
sunlight, the making of various facsimiles, handling, and greater 
age had faded its ink considerably. In contrast, the Constitution 
and Bill of Rights, benefiting from their longtime obscurity, were 
in relatively good condition. 

As a matter of fact, during the first century of existence of the 
parchment copy of the Constitution, it had attracted virtually no 
public attention. Only in a few instances was it even inspected. 
For example, in 1823 Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and 
others examined it during a political dispute concerning its punctu- 
ation. A few years later, James Madison, "Father of the Constitu- 
tion" and its onetime custodian as Secretary of State (1801-9) 
expressed uncertainty as to its location. In 1846 a publisher used it 
to prepare a book on the Constitution. When historian J. Franklin 
Jameson examined the parchment in 1883, he found it folded in a 
small tin box in the bottom of a closet at the State, War, and Navy 


In 1894, noting the deterioration in the Declaration, the State 
Department sealed it and the Constitution between two glass 
plates and locked them in a safe or steel case in the basement, 
apparently along with the Bill of Rights. There they lay, except on 
rare occasions, unobserved and in darkness for a quarter of a 
century. In 1921, in response to a Presidential Executive order, 
which reflected the findings of a special committee, the Depart- 
ment, though it retained control of the Bill of Rights, relinquished 
the Constitution and Declaration to the Library of Congress, 

In February 1924 President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge dedicated the newly 
completed shrne in the Library of Congress that contained the Constitution and 
the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress, 
is at the left. 


where they could receive expert care and be safely exhibited to the 

Herbert Putnam, the Librarian, personally made the transfer in 
a library mail truck, a Model T Ford. At first, he kept the 
documents in a safe in his office. In 1924, however, he put them on 
public display on the second floor of the present main building in 
a bronze-and-marble shrine. Placed over special moisture- 
absorbing cellulose paper, they were sealed between double panes 
of insulated plate glass, from which the air was expelled and just 
under which gelatin film kept out harmful rays of light. 

The Constitution and Declaration remained there until Decem- 
ber 26, 1941, just 19 days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. 
Packed in acid-free paper and rock wool in a hermetically sealed 
bronze container, they left Washington by train in a Pullman 
compartment under Secret Service guard en route to the United 
States Bullion Depository, Fort Knox, Ky. They arrived there the 
following day and were placed in a vault. Taking advantage of the 
opportunity, specialists cleaned and restored the documents to the 
maximum degree. On September 29, 1944, with the approval of the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, they were returned to the Library of Con- 
gress and on October 1 were reexhibited. 

In 1951, based on the results of a long study that the National 
Bureau of Standards had initiated at the request of the Librarian 
of Congress to determine the best possible protection from the 
atmosphere, insects, mold, and light, each of the six leaves of the 
two instruments were sealed in separate cases fitted with glass 
and special filters that screened out damaging light rays. The 
helium atmosphere was inert and properly humidified. 

In December 1952 the two documents were transported in 
wooden boxes atop mattresses in an armored troop carrier under 
military escort to their permanent home, the National Archives 
Building. It had been completed in 1935 as the repository for 
official governmental records, which are under the jurisdiction of 
the National Archives and Records Service of the General Serv- 
ices Administration. A special hall had been designed to safe- 
guard and exhibit the most famous of the Nation's documents. 
The Bill of Rights had already been shipped to the National 
Archives Building from the State, War, and Navy Building in 
1938; during the interim, it was not permanently displayed. 

Still enshrined at the National Archives Building today, along 


National Archives Building, where the Constitution reposes today. 

with thousands of other priceless national records, are the parch- 
ment copies of the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. 
The massive bronze doors at the Constitution Avenue entrance to 
the building lead to the circular Exhibition Hall. At its rear center 
stands a marble shrine containing the Declaration; the first and 
fourth, or signature, pages of the Constitution; and the Bill of 
Rights. Every Constitution Day (September 17) the first four 
pages of the Constitution are all displayed together in a portable 
exhibit case in the center of the rotunda. 

At other times, the second and third pages, as well as the rarely 
displayed fifth and last page of the Constitution (known as the 
"Resolution of Transmittal to the Continental Congress"), are 
safeguarded in the vault below. On the fifth page, signed by 
Washington, he detailed the steps required for adoption of the new 
plan of Government, including the ratification process. 

The Bill of Rights on display, which lists the first 12 proposed 
constitutional amendments, only the last 10 of which the States 
ratified, is the enrolled parchment copy of the congressional 
resolution of September 25, 1789, engrossed by House Clerk William 
Lambert. Thirteen other parchment copies, differing only in 
such details as handwriting, capitalization, and lineation, were 


transmitted to the States for ratification; only a few of these have 

When not exhibited, the Nation's most precious documents are 
secured in a fireproof, shockproof, bombproof vault, which is 
constructed of steel and reinforced concrete and is located below 
the shrine under the floor of Exhibition Hall. An electrical mech- 
anism automatically lowers them into the vault and raises them 
back to their positions in the shrine. Other machinery then closes 
a massive lid of metal and concrete over the vault. These mecha- 
nisms can be activated in the event of danger; and, during a power 
failure, may be operated manually. 

Along both sides of the bulwark charters is a "Formation of the 
Union" display. It consists of documents illustrating the evolution 
of the U.S. Government from 1774 until 1791. Included are the 
Articles of Association (1774), the Articles of Confederation 
(1778), the Treaty of Paris (1783), and Washington's inaugural 
address (1789). 

On each wall above the exhibit is a mural. In one, Jefferson and 
the drafting committee are presenting the Declaration to John 
Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. In the other, 
James Madison, accompanied by various members of the Consti- 
tutional Convention, is submitting the Constitution to George 
Washington, the Convention's presiding officer. 

Barry Faulkner's mural depicting Madison and 23 Convention delegates 
submitting the Constitution to Washington, president of the Convention. 

Suggested Reading 

BEARD, CHARLES A. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of 
the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1913. 

. The Republic: Conversations on Fundamentals. New York: Viking 

Press, 1943. 

BOWEN, CATHERINE D. Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the 
Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787. Boston: Little, 
Brown, 1966. 

BURNETT, EDMUND C. The Continental Congress. New York: Macmil- 
lan, 1941. 

FARRAND, MAX. The Fathers of the Constitution: A Chronicle of the 
Establishment of the Union. New Haven: Yale University Press, 

. The Framing of the Constitution of the United States. New Haven: 

Yale University Press, 1913. 

, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. 3 vols., New 

Haven: Yale University Press, 1911; rev. ed., 4 vols., 1937. 

Federalist [Papers]: A Collection of Essays Written in Favour of the 
New Constitution, As Agreed Upon by the Federal Convention, 



September 17, 1787. [1788]. Available in many complete and abridged 
editions, including paperback. 

JENSEN, MERRILL. The Articles of Confederation: An Interpretation of 
the Social-Constitutional History of the American Revolution. 1774- 
1781. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1940. 

The New Nation: A History of the United States During the 

Confederation, 1781-1789. New York: Knopf, 1950. 

McDONALD, FORREST. We the People: The Economic Origins of the 
Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958. 

McGEE, DOROTHY H. Framers of the Constitution. New York: Dodd, 
Mead, 1968. 

MAIN, JACKSON TURNER. The Antifederalists : Critics of the Constitu- 
tion, 1 781-1 788. Published for the Institute of Early American History 
and Culture, at Williamsburg, Va. Chapel Hill: University of North 
Carolina Press, 1961. 

MORGAN, EDMUND S. The Birth of the Republic, 1763-1789. Chicago: 
University of Chicago Press, 1956. 

NATIONAL ARCHIVES. The Formation of the Union. Washington: 
National Archives and Records Service (Pub. No. 70-13), 1970. 

NEVINS, ALLAN. The American States During and After the Revolution, 
1775-1789. New York: Macmillan, 1927. 

ROSSITER, CLINTON. 1787: The Grand Convention. New York: Macmil- 
lan, 1966. 

RUTLAND, ROBERT A. The Birth of the Bill of Rights, 1776-1791. 
Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at 
Williamsburg, Va. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 

TANSILL, CHARLES., ed. Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the 
Union of the American States. 69th Congress, 1st Session, House Doc. 
No. 398. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1927. 

SION. History of the Formation of the Union Under the Constitution. 
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1940. 

the United States, As Amended Through July 1971. 93d Congress, 2d 
Session, House Doc. No. 93-215. Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1974. 

UNITED STATES SENATE. The Constitution of the United States of 
America: Analysis and Interpretation— Annotations of Cases De- 


cided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 29, 1972. 92d 
Congress, 2d Session, Senate Doc. No. 92-82. Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1973. 

VAN DOREN, CARL. The Great Rehearsal: The Story of the Making and 
Ratifying of the Constitution of the United States. New York: Viking 
Press, 1948. 

WARREN, CHARLES. The Making of the Constitution. Boston: Little, 
Brown, 1928. 

WHITNEY, DAVID C. Founders of Freedom in America: Lives of the Men 
Who Signed the Constitution and So Helped to Establish the United 
States of America. Chicago: J. G. Ferguson, 1965. 

WOOD, GORDON S. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787. 
Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at 
Williamsburg, Va. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 

Criteria for Selection of Historic 
Sites of National Significance 

A. National significance is ascribed to buildings, sites, objects, or 
districts which possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or 
interpreting the historical (history and archeology) heritage of our 
Nation, such as: 

1. Structures or sites at which events occurred that have made a 
significant contribution to, and are identified prominently with, or 
which outstandingly represent, the broad cultural, political, econom- 
ic, military, or social history of the Nation, and from which an 
understanding and appreciation of the larger patterns of our 
American heritage may be gained. 

2. Structures or sites associated importantly with the lives of 
persons nationally significant in the history of the United States. 

3. Structures or sites associated significantly with an important 
event that outstandingly represents some great idea or ideal of the 
American people. 

4. Structures that embody the distinguishing characteristics of an 
architectural type specimen, exceptionally valuable for a study of a 
period, style, or method of construction; or a notable structure 
representing the work of a master builder, designer, or architect. 

5. Objects that figured prominently in nationally significant events; 
or that were prominently associated with nationally significant 
persons; or that outstandingly represent some great idea or ideal of 
the American people; or that embody distinguishing characteristics 



of a type specimen, exceptionally valuable for a study of a period, 
style, or method of construction ; or that are notable as representa- 
tions of the work of master workers or designers. 

6. Archeological sites that have produced information of a major 
scientific importance by revealing new cultures, or by shedding light 
upon periods of occupation over large areas of the United States. 
Such sites are those which have produced, or which may reasonably 
be expected to produce, data affecting theories, concepts, and ideas to 
a major degree. 

7. When preserved or restored as integral parts of the environment, 
historic buildings not sufficiently significant individually by reason 
of historical association or architectural merit to warrant recognition 
may collectively compose a "historic district" that is of historical 
significance to the Nation in commemorating or illustrating a way of 
life in its developing culture. 

B. To possess national significance, a historic or prehistoric 
structure, district, site, or object must possess integrity. For a historic 
or prehistoric site, integrity requires original location and intangible 
elements of feeling and association. The site of a structure no longer 
standing may possess national significance if the person or event 
associated with the structure was of transcendent importance in the 
Nation's history and the association consequential. 

For a historic or prehistoric structure, integrity is a composite 
quality derived from original workmanship, original location, and 
intangible elements of feeling and association. A structure no longer 
on the original site may possess national significance if the person or 
event associated with it was of transcendent importance in the 
Nation's history and the association consequential. 

For a historic district, integrity is a composite quality derived from 
original workmanship, original location, and intangible elements of 
feeling and association inherent in an ensemble of historic buildings 
having visual architectural unity. 

For a historic object, integrity requires basic original workmanship. 

C. Structures or sites which are primarily of significance in the 
field of religion or to religious bodies but are not of national 
importance in other fields of the history of the United States, such as 
political, military, or architectural history, will not be eligible for 

D. Birthplaces, graves, burials, and cemeteries, as a general rule, 
are not eligible for consideration and recognition except in cases of 
historical figures of transcendent importance. Historic sites associat- 
ed with the actual careers and contributions of outstanding historical 
personages usually are more important than their birthplaces and 
burial places. 

E. Structures, sites, and objects achieving historical importance 
within the past 50 years will not as a general rule be considered 
unless associated with persons or events of transcendent significance. 


Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, 
Buildings, and Monuments 

Hon. E. Y. Berry, Rapid City, S. Dak. 

Hon. Alan Bible, Reno, Neu. 

Laurence W. Lane, Jr., Menlo Park, Calif. 

A. Starker Leopold, University of California, Berkeley. 

Mrs. Rogers C. B. Morton, Alexandria, Va. 

Linden C. Pettys, Ludington, Mich. 

Mrs. Paul T. Rennell, Greenwich, Conn. 

Steven L. Rose, La Canada, Calif. 

Douglas W. Schwartz, School of American Research. 

William G. Shade, Lehigh University. 

Edgar A. Toppin, Virginia State College, Petersburg. 

Consulting Committee for the National Survey 
of Historic Sites and Buildings 

James Biddle, National Trust for Historic Preservation. 
John O. Brew, Harvard University. 
Walter L. Creese, University of Illinois. 
Richard H. Howland, Smithsonian Institution. 
John W. Huston, U.S. Naval Academy. 
Herbert E. Kahler, Alexandria, Va. 



Charles E. Lee, South Carolina Department of Archives and History. 

Henry A. Millon, American Academy in Rome. 

Frederick D. Nichols, University of Virginia. 

Dorothy B. Porter, Moorland Foundation, Howard University. 

National Park Service 

Edwin C. Bearss, Supervisory Historian, Historic Preservation-East, 

Denver Service Center. 
Frederick R. Bell, Picture Librarian, Office of Public Affairs. 
Jack E. Boucher, Supervisor of Photography and Pictorial Records, Office 

of Archeology and Historic Preservation. 
Mary O. Callander, Secretary, Historic Sites Survey. 
Mark S. Carroll, Chief, Professional Publications Division. 
James Dillon, Architectural Historian, Historic Sites Survey. 
Virginia S. Fairman, Secretary, Historic Preservation-East, Denver 

Service Center. 
Mary Farrell, Writer-Editor, Historic American Buildings Survey. 
David K. Hansen, Curator, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Wash. 
Sarah S. Hawkins, Printing Specialist, Division of Organization and 

Patrick A. Hurley, Design-Production Specialist, Professional Publications 

Al James, Unit Manager, Hamilton Grange National Memorial, N.Y. 
Henry A. Judd, Chief Historical Architect, Park Historic Preservation. 
Herbert E. Kahler, Chief (retired), Division of History and Archeology. 
Benjamin Levy, Senior Historian, Historic Sites Survey. 
John Luzader, Manager, Historic Preservation Team, Denver Service 

Warren A. McCullough, Management Assistant, Independence National 

Historical Park, Pa. 
Joseph S. Mendinghall, Historian, Historic Sites Survey. 
John C. Milley, Supervisory Curator, Department of Museums, Independ- 
ence National Historical Park, Pa. 
Robert Nash, Unit Manager, Manhattan Sites, New York Group. 
J. Leonard Norwood, Associate Director, Administration. 
Mary Carolyn Pitts, Architectural Historian, Historic Sites Survey. 
John D. R. Piatt, Historian, Independence National Historical Park, Pa. 
Charles W. Porter III, Chief Historian (retired), Division of History. 
Karen P. Ross, Professional Assistant, Historic Sites Survey. 
Christine L. St. Lawrence, Writer-Editor, Historic American Buildings 

William J. Savannah, Printing Officer, Division of Organization and 

Blanche H. Schroer, Historian, Historic Sites Survey. 
Charles W. Snell, Historian, Historic Preservation-East, Denver Service 



Robert M. Utley, Assistant Director, Park Historic Preservation. 
Marilyn D. Williams, Clerk-typist, Historic Sites Survey. 
Martin I. Yoelson, Supervisory Interpretive Specialist, Independence 
National Historical Park, Pa. 

Other Individuals 

William R. Best, Director, Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History 
and Art, Tulsa. 

Mary Kathleen Binns, Senior Secretary to Gov. Ray Blanton, Nashville. 

Marion Converse Bright, Valdosta, Ga. 

Lee H. Burke, Historian, U.S. Department of State. 

Jeanne F. Butler, Administrator, American Institute of Architects 
Foundation; Curator, The Octagon, Washington, D.C. 

John E. Byrnes, Assistant to the Executive Director, National Archives, 
Washington, D.C. 

George C. Chalou, Archivist, Center for the Documentary Study of the 
American Revolution, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 

Elizabeth Taylor Childs, Curator of Collections and Head Registrar, 
Valentine Museum, Richmond. 

Gary J. Christopher, Manuscript Assistant, Historical Society of Pennsyl- 
vania, Philadelphia. 

Helen R. Cline, Parish Recorder, The Parish of Trinity Church, New York 

Beverly Jones Cox, Coordinator of Exhibitions, National Portrait Gallery, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 

Beth Crabtree, Editorial Assistant, Historical Publications, North Caro- 
lina State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

Virginia Daiker, Alexandria, Va. 

Mona C. Dearborn, Keeper of the Catalog of American Portraits, National 
Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 

Gertrude Dempster, Furnishings Chairman, Blount Mansion Association, 

Jeanne E. Donaldson, Registrar, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville. 

Grose Evans, Adjunct Associate Professor, George Washington Univer- 
sity, Washington, D.C. 

Alice F. Fullam, Reference Librarian, Trenton Public Library. 

James L. Gear, Preservation Officer (Vault Custodian), National Archives, 
Washington, D.C. 

Donald J. Gonzales, Vice President and Director of Public Affairs, Colonial 

Kenneth E. Harris, Chief, Center for the Documentary Study of the 
American Revolution, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 

Lilla M. Hawes, Director, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah. 

Harriet Helmer, Secretary, J. G. Ferguson Publishing Company, Chicago. 

Marcella Henry, Section of Antiquities, Oriental, and Decorative Arts, 
Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh. 


Graham Hood, Director of Collections, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 
Lucy H. Hrivnak, Manuscript Assistant, Historical Society of Pennsylva- 
nia, Philadelphia. 
C. Jared Ingersoll, Philadelphia. 
Doris Jackson, Director, Public Relations, New York Eye and Ear 

Infirmary, New York City. 
Jack Jackson, Assistant, Art Department, Library of the Boston Athen- 
Jane Katz, Assistant Librarian, John Work Garrett Library of the Johns 

Hopkins University, Baltimore. 
Jerry L. Kearns, Head, Reference Section, Prints and Photographs 

Division, Library of Congress. 
William H. Leary, Archivist, Audiovisual Archives Division, National 

Archives, Washington, D.C. 
Jacqueline L. Lewis, Secretary to the Assistant Director, Baltimore 

Museum of Art. 
Mary Walton Livingston, Archivist, Records Appraisal Staff, National 

Archives, Washington, D.C. 
Mary C. Long, Art and Reference Division, Office of the Architect of the 

Capitol, Washington, D.C. 
William J. MacArthur, Jr., Head, McClung Historical Collection, 

Knoxville-Knox County Public Library, Knoxville. 
Charles S. Marshall, Executive Secretary, Eastern National Park and 

Monument Association, Philadelphia. 
L. Porter Moore, Secretary /Executive Director, American Scenic and 

Historical Preservation Society, New York City. 
Walter J. Mordaunt, Information Officer, New York State Court of 

Appeals, Albany. 
Bridgett Paddock, Assistant Director, Lamont Gallery, Phillips Exeter 

Academy, Exeter, N.H. 
Peter J. Parker, Chief of Manuscripts, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 

Marilyn K. Parr, Manuscript Reference Librarian, Library of Congress. 
Alan F. Perry, Archivist, Center for the Documentary Study of the 

American Revolution, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 
William M. Pillsbury, Curator of Collections, Albany Institute of History 

and Art. 
Virginia Purdy, Chief, Office of Educational Programs, National Archives, 

Washington, D.C. 
Leonard Rapport, Deputy Director, Records Appraisal Staff, National 

Archives, Washington, D.C. 
Katharine M. Ratzenberger, Reference Librarian, National Portrait 

Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 
Bernard F. Reilly, Curator of Prints, Library Company of Philadelphia. 
Lois S. Riggins, Curator of Extension Services, Tennessee State Museum, 

Ellen M. Rosenthal, Reference Assistant, Frick Art Reference Library, 

New York City. 


Jane Sabersky, Curator, Office of Art Properties, Columbia University, 
New York City. 

Mark S. Samuelson, Archives Technician, Office of Educational Programs, 
National Archives, Washington, D.C. 

Katharine B. Sanborn, Picture Consultant, Alexandria, Va. 

Frieda Siedman, Secretary, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadel- 

Barbara L. Sloan, Reference Assistant, Frick Art Reference Library, New 
York City. 

Murphy D. Smith, Associate Librarian, American Philosophical Society, 

Louise Stockdale, Manager, Gunston Hall Plantation, Lorton, Va. 

Keith D. Strawn, Curator of the Collections, North Carolina Museum of 
History, Raleigh. 

Ronald Swerczek, Archivist, Diplomatic Branch, National Archives, 
Washington, D.C. 

Nancy R. Tarwater, former Furnishings Chairman, Blount Mansion 
Association, Knoxville. 

Jean M. Thill, Assistant, Picture Collection, Virginia State Library, 

Katy Thomsen, Graphics Assistant, Maryland Historical Society, Balti- 

Robert S. Williams, Executive Secretary, Sons of the Revolution, Fraunces 
Tavern Museum, New York City. 

Howard W. Wiseman, Curator, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark. 

Kathleen Zickler, Photography Department, Pennsylvania Academy of 
Fine Arts, Philadelphia. 

Art and Picture Credits 

The National Park Service gratefully acknowledges the assistance of agencies and 
individuals furnishing illustrations and granting permission to reproduce them. 
Except where otherwise indicated, all oil paintings are on canvas. Where available, 
names of photographers of historic sites and dates of photographs are indicated. 


— FRONT END PAPER: Engraving (ca. 1787) by James Trenchard, after a 
drawing (1778) by Charles Willson Peale, in Columbian Magazine (1787). 
Library of Congress. 

— REAR END PAPER: Colored print (1906) by Moatbaron and Gautschi. New- 
York Historical Society. 

ii Oil (1940) by Howard Chandler Christy. Courtesy, Office of the Architect of the 
U.S. Capitol; color separations, U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the 
Eastern National Park and Monument Association. 

5 National Archives. 

10 National Archives. 

13 Drawing and engraving (1800) by William Birch & Son. Library of Congress. 

16 National Archives. 

18 Oil (1845-48) by Edward Hicks. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, 
Colonial Williamsburg. 

20 Pennsylvania Journal (Philadelphia), May 19, 1787. Library of Congress. 

22 Engraving (undated) by an unknown artist, in Columbian Magazine (1789). 
Library of Congress. 

24 National Archives. 

25 Jefferson, detail from oil (1786) by Mather Brown, Charles Francis Adams, 
Lexington, Mass.; Adams, detail from oil (1788) by Mather Brown, Library of 
the Boston Athenaeum. 

27 Lee, detail from oil (1784) by Charles Willson Peale, Independence National 
Historical Park, Pa.; Henry, detail from miniature, watercolor on ivory 
(undated), by Lawrence Sully, Herbert DuPuy Collection, Museum of Art, 
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Jay, detail from oil (1795-96) by Raphaelle and 
Rembrandt Peale, after Charles Willson Peale, Maryland Historical Society; 
Chase, detail from oil (ca. 1773) by Charles Willson Peale, Independence 
National Historical Park. 

29 National Archives. 

31 Drawing (ca. 1750) by George Heap, which was engraved and published in 
London, 1754. Library Company of Philadelphia. 

32 Drawing and engraving (ca. 1799) by William Birch & Son. Independence 
National Historical Park. 



34 Detail from drawing and engraving (ca. 1800) by William Birch & Son. Library 
of Congress. 

36 Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia), May 11, 1787. Library of Congress. 

38 Engraving (early 19th century) by Mumford, in John F. Watson, Annals of 
Philadelphia (1879-81). Library Company of Philadelphia. 

39 Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia), May 28, 1787. Library of Congress. 

40 Miniature, oil on ivory (1793), by an unknown artist. Independence National 
Historical Park. 

42 National Archives. 

44 Oil (undated) by Flavius J. Fisher, after an unknown artist. Virginia State 
Library; hangs in Virginia State Capitol. 

47 National Archives. 

51 Miniature, watercolor on ivory (ca. 1800), by Robert Field. John Work Garrett 
Library, Johns Hopkins University. 

53 Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia), June 16, 1787. Library of Congress. 

55 Ellsworth, pastel (ca. 1796) attributed to James Sharpies, Sr., Independence 
National Historical Park; Strong, oil (1813) by Gilbert Stuart, Frederick S. 
Moseley III, Boston. 

57 National Archives. 

59 Watercolor (1887) by Benjamin R. Evans, after a drawing (1833) by Gen. 
[Alfred?] Sully. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

62 National Archives. 

67 McClurg, detail from oil (ca. 1810) attributed to Cephas Thompson, Julia 
Wickham Porter and Charles W. Porter III ; Davie, detail from miniature, oil on 
ivory, by Eliza L. Mirbel, Independence National Historical Park; Mercer, 
detail from oil (1901) by Albert Rosenthal, after a miniature by Robert Field, 
Independence National Historical Park; Lansing, detail from oil (ca. 1814) by 
Ezra Ames, New York State Court of Appeals. 

70 Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

72 Engraving by an unknown artist, after a daguerreotype in Harper's Weekly 
(June 2, 1860). Library of Congress. 

79 Library of Congress. 

81 Gerry, oil on panel (early 19th century) by an unknown artist, after John 
Vanderlyn, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; Mason, oil (1811) by 
Dominic W. Boudet, after a lost portrait by John Hesselius, Virginia Museum 
of Fine Arts (on loan to Gunston Hall Plantation). 

82 National Archives. 

84 Oil (ca. 1856) by Junius Brutus Stearns. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 

86 Library of Congress. 

87 Library of Congress. 

89 National Archives. 

90 National Archives. 



91 National Archives. 

92 National Archives. 

93 National Archives. 

95 Locke, detail from engraving (undated) by J. Posselwhite, after a portrait by 
Godfrey Kneller, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Montes- 
quieu, detail from engraving (undated) by H. C. Muller, after a portrait by 
Deveria, National Portrait Gallery. 

97 Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia), September 18, 1787. Library of Congress. 

99 Library of Congress. 

103 Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

107 Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

109 National Archives. 

110 Library of Congress. 

112 Library of Congress. 

113 Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

114 Library of Congress. 

115 Library of Congress. 

117 Oil (late 19th century) by L. M. Cooke. National Gallery of Art. 

118 Engraving (ca. 1790) by Amos Doolittle, after a drawing by Peter Lacour. I. N. 
Phelps Stokes Collection, New York Public Library. 

122 National Archives. 

125 Library of Congress (Harris & Ewing). 

126 Library of Congress (Abbie Rowe). 

128 National Archives. 

129 Library of Congress. 

131 National Archives. 

138 Engraving (undated) by Henry Dawkins, after W. Tennant. in An Account of 
the College of New Jersey (1764). Library of Congress. 

140 Detail from ink and gouache drawing (undated) by Emanuel Leutze, after 
Robert Fulton. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

142 Crayon drawing (undated) by Charles B.J. Fevret de Saint-Memin. Baltimore 
Museum of Art. 

143 Oil (1787) by Charles Willson Peale. Office of the Architect of the U.S. Capitol. 

145 Pastel (ca. 1790) by William Williams. Mrs. Seymour St. John, on loan to 
Colonial Williamsburg. 

146 Oil (prior to 1858) by Washington B. Cooper. Tennessee State Museum 
Collection; hangs in the Governor's Conference Room, Nashville. 

148 Reproduc?d from a portrait by an unknown artist in Hamilton Schuyler, St. 
Michael's Church, Trenton (1926). Trentoniana Collection, Trenton Public 



151 Miniature (undated) by an unknown artist. Present existence, ownership, and 

location cannot be verified, but in 1892 it was owned by Mrs. Sarah Butler 

Wistar of Philadelphia. National Archives. 

153 Oil (ca. 1758) by John Wollaston. Maryland Historical Society. 

154 Oil (1807-9) by Charles Willson Peale. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine 


156 Engraving (1798) by Charles B. J. Fevret de Saint-Memin. National Portrait 

158 Oil (1782) by Charles Willson Peale. Independence National Historical Park. 

161 Oil (undated) by Carl L. Brandt, after John Paradise. New York Eye and Ear 

163 Oil (ca. 1802). Documentary evidence accompanying this portrait indicates it 
is a likeness of Fitzsimons painted by Gilbert Stuart. Miss Ida Edelson, 

165 Oil (1789) by Charles Willson Peale. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

167 Engraving (undated) by an unknown artist. Independence National Historical 

168 Gazette of the United States (New York City), April 28, 1790. Library of 

169 Lithograph (1900) by Albert Rosenthal after his oil painting, which was based 
on a life sketch by Hensel, a miniature attributed to Malbone, and an oil by 
Henry Williams. Ladd-Gilman House, Exeter, N.H. 

170 Oil (ca. 1793-94) by Charles Willson Peale. Boston Museum of Fine Arts. 

172 Oil (1792) by John Trumbull. National Gallery of Art. 

175 Oil (1820) by Charles Willson Peale. Miss Anna Warren Ingersoll, Philadel- 

177 Oil (1760-70) by John Hesselius. National Portrait Gallery. 

178 Oil (ca. 1790) attributed to Robert Edge Pine. Columbia University. 

180 Oil (undated) by John Trumbull. Yale University Art Gallery. 

182 Pastel (ca. 1795-1800) attributed to James Sharpies, Sr. Independence Nation- 
al Historical Park. 

184 Pennsylvania Journal (Philadelphia), May 30, 1787. Library of Congress. 

185 Oil (undated) by John Wollaston. Sons of the Revolution, Fraunces Tavern 
Museum, New York City. 

187 Pastel (ca. 1795-1800) attributed to James Sharpies, Sr. Independence Nation- 
al Historical Park. 

188 National Archives. 

189 Detail from oil (1792) by Charles Willson Peale. Thomas Gilcrease Institute of 
American History and Art. 

192 Library of Congress. 

193 Oil (1784) by Charles Willson Peale. Independence National Historical Park. 



195 Engraving ( 1781) by B. L. Prevost, after Du Simitiere. Metropolitan Museum of 

197 Oil (ca. 1782) by Charles Willson Peale. Independence National Historical 

200 Pastel (1794) by James Sharpies, Sr. United States Supreme Court. 

202 Oil (ca. 1786) attributed to Gilbert Stuart. American Scenic and Historical 
Preservation Society. 

204 Oil (ca. 1796) by James Earl (Earle). Worcester Art Museum. 

206 Oil (ca. 1784) by Robert Edge Pine. National Portrait Gallery. 

208 Oil on wood (1791) by John Trumbull. Yale University Art Gallery. 

210 Oil (undated) by Ralph Earl (Earle). Yale University Art Gallery. 

212 Pastel (ca. 1798-1800) attributed to James Sharpies, Sr. Independence Nation- 
al Historical Park. 

214 Oil (1787) by Charles Willson Peale. Joseph and Sarah Harrison Collection, 
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. 

217 Lithograph (undated) by P. Haas. Library of Congress. 

218 Oil (undated) by John Trumbull. William H. Swan, Hampton Bays, New York, 
on loan to North Carolina Museum of Art. 

221 Miniature, watercolor on ivory (ca. 1793), by Jean Pierre Henri Elouis. Nation- 
al Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution. 

232 National Park Service (Robert C. Post, 1973). 

233 National Park Service (Jack E. Boucher, 1975). 
235 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 

237 National Park Service (Post, 1973). 

239 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 

241 National Park Service (Boucher, 1971). 

243 National Park Service (Boucher, 1971). 

245 National Capital Parks (Abbie Rowe). 

246 Engraving (ca. 1814) by William Strickland, after George Munger. Library of 

249 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 

253 National Park Service (Boucher, 1964). 

254 National Park Service (Post, 1973). 

256 National Park Service (Post, 1973). 

257 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 
259 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 

261 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 

262 From a drawing (undated) apparently executed by David Grimm. National 



263 Engraving (undated) by Hatch & Smillie, after a drawing (undated) by 

Diederick Knickerbocker, Jr., after an engraving (undated) by Cornelius 

Tiebout. National Archives. 

265 National Park Service (Richard Frear, 1974). 
267 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 
271 National Park Service (Boucher, 1974). 

273 Engraving (undated) by an unknown artist, in Columbian Magazine (1790). 
Library of Congress. 

274 National Archives. 

277 National Park Service (Boucher, 1974). 

278 Independence National Historical Park (Warren A. McCullough, 1968). 
280 National Park Service (Charles W. Snell, 1970). 

282 National Park Service (Contractor Louis Schwartz, 1975). 

283 National Park Service (Snell, 1972). 

285 National Park Service (Contractor Bill Tracy, 1975). 

286 National Park Service (Contractor Tracy, 1975). 
289 Colonial Williamsburg. 

291 National Park Service (Frear, 1972). 

293 National Park Service (Contractor, Alan's Photography Studio, Culpeper, Va., 

295 Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. 

320 National Archives (1924). 

322 National Park Service (Boucher, 1975). 

323 National Archives. 

Adam architectural style, 238, 242, 243, 

Adams, John, 13, 26, 116, 142, 143, 147, 
167, 174, 187, 189, 245, 263, 274, 278 

Adams, John Quincy, 182, 241, 319 

Adams, Mrs. John (Abigail), 245 

Adams, Samuel, 26, 109 

Advisory Board on National Parks, 
Historic Sites, Buildings, and Monu- 
ments, iv, 229, 329 

Age of framers, at various times, com- 
pared, 35, 137. See also specific 

Alabama, 14 

Alden, Roger, 318 

Alison, Rev. Francis, 207 

Allen, Ethan, Ira, and Levi, 15 

Alsop, Mary, 181 

Amendments to Constitution, 4, 7, 78, 
80 83, 95, 96, 98, 100, 104, 106, 110, 
114, 116-132, 310-317. See also Bill of 

American Institute of Architects, 242, 


American Philosophical Society Hall 
(Philosophical Hall), Pa., 273, 276, 279 

American Revolution, see Revolution, 
American, and War for Independence 

American Revolution, Daughters of the, 
see Daughters of the American Revo- 

American Scenic and Historical Preser- 
vation Society, 266 

Ancestry of signers, see National ori- 
gins; and individual signers 

Annapolis, Md., see Annapolis Conven- 
tion; Colonial Annapolis 

Annapolis Convention (1786), 22-23, 
142, 144, 150, 160, 173, 190, 199, 208, 
216, 220, 249, 250, 262, 294 

Antifederalists, see Ratification of Con- 

Antinationalism, see Nationalism 

Antislavery movement, see Slaves 

Appointment and election of delegates 
to Constitutional Convention, see 
Apthorpe, Maria, 220 
Archeologists and archeological excava- 
tion, 238, 291 
Architects, architectural styles, and 
architectural features, see particular 
architects, architectural styles, and 
buildings and residences 
Aristocrats and aristocracy, 4, 8, 35, 101, 

151, 158, 196, 208, 222 
Army, see Continental Army; United 

States Army 
Army-Navy Museum, Pa., see Pember- 

ton House 
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual 
Union (1778): history of document, 
nature and problems of Government 
under and relation to creation of 
Constitution, 4, 7, 9, 11-22, 23, 25, 26, 
37, 43, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 52, 58, 59, 61, 
63, 64, 68, 74, 75, 94, 98, 100, 104, 105, 
106, 121, 135, 249, 250, 260, 272. 323. 
See also Continental Congress; and 
individual signers. 
Attendance at Constitutional Conven- 
tion, 31-32. See also specific signers. 
Authors, see Books; and particular au- 

Bachelor signers, 138, 141, 169, 177 

Baker, George F., Sr., 266 

Baldwin, Abraham (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, 32, 33, 52, 
75, 136, 138, 139, 140-141, 228 

Baldwin, Henry, half-brother of signer, 

Baldwin, Ruth, see Barlow, Ruth 
Baldwin family, 140 
Balfour, Jean, 146 


342 INDEX 

Ball, Mary, 290 

Bank of the United States (First and 
Second) Buildings, Pa., 274, 278, 279 

Barclay, Thomas, 279 

Barlow, Joel, 140 

Barlow, Ruth Baldwin, sister of signer, 

Bartram, John, 31 

Bassett (Basset), Mrs. Richard (Ann 
Ennals), first wife of signer, 143 

Bassett (Basset), Mrs. Richard ( 

Bruff), second wife of signer, 143 

Bassett (Basset), Richard (signer), ca- 
reer of and sites associated with, 23, 
32, 33, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 142-143, 
228, 232-233 

Bassett (Richard) House, Del., 228, 232- 

Beach, Anne, 179 

Beach, Mary Brewster, 180 

Bedford, Col. Gunning, cousin of signer, 

Bedford, Gunning, Jr. (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, 32, 33, 52, 
136, 137, 139, 143-144, 236-238 

Bedford, Mrs. Gunning, Jr. (Jane B. 
Parker), wife of signer, 236 

Bedford family, 144 

Bell, Cornelia, 201 

Belmont (estate), S.C., 206 

Bill of Rights (U.S.): history of docu- 
ment and provisions and significance 
of, 80, 98, 104-105, 106, 110, 114, 116, 
117, 119-121, 124, 191, 260, 263, 310- 
311, 317, 318-323. See also Amend- 
ments to Constitution. 

Bird, Rachel, 221 

Birthplaces of signers, 227-228. See also 
specific signers. 

Bishop White House, Pa., 279 

Black Horse (tavern) (Philadelphia), 30 

Blacks, see Slaves 

Blackstone, Sir William, 204 

Blair, James, 145 

Blair, John, father of signer, 145 

Blair, John (signer), career of and sites 
associated with, 32, 33, 135, 136, L37, 
139, 145-146. 288-289 

Blair, Mrs. John (Jean Balfour), wife of 
signer, 146 

Blair family, 145 

Blair (John) House, Va., 288-289 

Blount, Mrs. William (Mary Grainger 
[Granger]), wife of signer, 146, 286 

Blount, Thomas, great-grandfather of 
signer, 146 

Blount, William (signer), career of and 

sites associated with, 32, 33, 85, 136, 
138, 139, 146-148. 176, 270, 284-288 

Blount, Willie, half-brother of signer. 

Blount family, 284 

Blount Mansion ("Governor's Man- 
sion"), Tenn., 147, 284-286 

Blount Mansion Association, 286 

Bohemia Manor (estate), Md., 142, 143 

Bonny Kate Chapter of the Daughters of 
the American Revolution, 286 

Books, pamphlets, essays, and tracts: 
signers write, see particular signers 

Boone, Daniel, 287 

Boudinot, Elias, 257 

Boudinot (Elias) House, N.J., see Box- 
wood Hall 

Boxwood Hall (Elias Boudinot House), 
N.J., 157, 257 

Boxwood Hall Memorial Association, 

Boyhood homes of signers, 227-228. See 
also specific signers. 

Braddock, Edward, 215 

Brearly (Brearley), David (signer), ca- 
reer of and sites associated with, 32, 
33, 54, 75, 135, 136, 138, 139, 148-149, 

Brearly (Brearley), Mrs. David (Eliza- 
beth Mullen), first wife of signer, 148 

Brearly (Brearley), Mrs. David (Eliza- 
beth Higbee), second wife of signer, 

Brearly (Brearley) family, 148 

Broom, Jacob (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 32. 33, 135, 136, 
150-151. 233-234, 278 

Broom, Mrs. Jacob (Rachel Pierce), wife 
of signer, 150 

Broom, (Jacob) House (Haglev), Del.. 
150, 233-234 

Bruff, , 143 

Buckland, William. 251 

Builders, buildings, and building mate- 
rials, see specific builder-architects, 
buildings, and residences 

Burgoyne, John, 183 

Burial grounds, see Cemeteries 

Burr, Aaron, 156, 157, 172, 175. 266 

Business and businessmen, see Eco- 

Butler. Jane, 290 

Butler, Mrs. Pierce (Mary Middleton). 
wife of signer, 151 

Butler, Pierce (signer), career of and 
sites associated with. 52. 55, 5^, 75, 
L36, 157. 159. 151-152. 228, 27,s 

INDEX 343 

Butler, Sir Richard, father of signer, 151 

Cadwalader, Mary, 158 

Caldwell, Margaret Allison, 188 

Calhoun, John, 241 

Call, Rebecca, 171 

Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia 

and Carpenters' Hall, Pa., 31, 272, 276, 

Carroll, Charles (of Carrollton), 26, 153 
Carroll, Daniel (signer), career of and 

sites associated with, 32, 33, 54, 75, 85. 

135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 153-154, 228 
Carroll, Eleanor, 153 
Carroll, John, brother of signer, 153 
Carroll, Mrs. Daniel (Eleanor Carroll), 

wife of signer, 153 
Carroll family, 153 
Cemeteries where signers buried, see 

specific signers 
Chase, Samuel, 102 

Children of signers, 137. See also indi- 
vidual signers. 
Christ Church, Pa., 279 
Christianity and religion, and framers, 

13, 31,51, 136, 138. See also particular 

Cincinnati Memorial Hall, N.H., see 

Ladd-Gilman House 
Cities, towns, and villages: framers hold 

offices in, 35, 135-136. See also specific 

City Hall (New York City), see Federal 

City Hall (Philadelphia), 273, 274, 276, 

City Tavern (Philadelphia), 30, 88, 276, 

Civic affairs, framers take part in, 35, 

135. See also individual signers. 

Clark, Abraham, 23, 26, 156 

Classical and Classic Revival architec- 
tural style, 264 

Clay, Henry, 241 

Claypoole, David C, see Dunlap, John 
Clergymen, see Christianity 
Clermont (estate), N.C., 213 
Clinton, George, 55, 102, 111, 196 
Clymer, George (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 32, 33, 34, 135, 

136, 139, 154-156, 279-280 

Clymer, Mrs. George (Elizabeth Mere- 
dith), wife of signer, 154 
Clymer family, 154 

Coade, Madame, 243 

Coates Retirement (estate), Md., see 

Cobb, Mrs. William, 287 
Cobb, William, 284, 287 
Cobb family, 288 
Cobb-Massengill Home, Tenn., see 

Rocky Mount 
Colgan, Rev. Thomas, 268 

Colleges and universities, signers at- 
tend, 137. See also Education; and 
specific signers. 

Colonel (Charles) Pinckney House, S.C., 

Colonial Annapolis Historic District, 
Md., 252, 253 

Colonial architectural style, 268, 269, 
288, 292 

Colonial Dames of America, 235 

Colonies, Thirteen, see appropriate top- 
ics throughout this index 

Commerce, see Economic 

Committee of detail, at Constitutional 
Convention, 60-75, 170, 171, 208, 210, 

Committee of revision, see Committee of 

Committee of style (revision), at Consti- 
tutional Convention, 78-83, 173, 178, 

179, 181, 190, 196 

Committee of the whole, at Constitution- 
al Convention, 45-50, 52, 170, 171 

Committee on postponed matters, at 
Constitutional Convention, 75-78, 
140, 141, 148, 149, 152, 153, 154, 158, 
160, 170, 181, 190, 196, 212, 220 

Committees, at Constitutional Conven- 
tion, 52, 53, 54, 68, 69, 70, 144, 183, 185, 
190, 196, 220. See also particular 
committees preceding. 

Confederacies, see Federal system of 

Confederation, U.S., see Articles of Con- 

Congress Hall (County Court House), 
Pa., 273, 274, 276, 279 

Congress, U.S., see United States Con- 

Connecticut: history of and framers 
from, 21, 23, 37, 45, 46, 50, 52, 58, 60, 
75, 80, 88, 109, 140, 141, 170, 175, 178- 

180, 200, 210-212, 219 
Connecticut Compromise, see Great 

Conservatism, political: and framers, 4, 

8, 19. See also individual signers. 
Constitution (U.S.): origins, history, 

344 INDEX 

text, evolution, and significance of, 3- 
132, 256, 271, 272-273, 275, 301-323. 
See also Amendments to Constitution ; 
Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Conven- 
tion; Delegates; Ratification of Con- 
stitution; Signers of the Constitution; 
United States Supreme Court; specific 
signers; and other appropriate topics 
throughout this index. 

Constitution (U.S.) Day, 322 

Constitutional ("Federal"; "Grand") 
Convention (U.S.), history of proceed- 
ings at, 3-132, 228, 249, 260, 262, 271, 
272-273, 275, 277, 294, 296, 317. See 
also Constitution; and individual 

Constitutional conventions (U.S.), pro- 
posed, 83, 104, 106, 114, 117 

Constitutionality, see United States 
Supreme Court 

Constitutions (other than U.S.), 3, 88, 
94, 96, 119, 121 

Consulting Committee for the National 
Survey of Historic Sites and Build- 
ings, iv, 329-330 

Continental Army, see Revolution, 
American, and War for Independence 

Continental Congress (First and Sec- 
ond): history, membership, actions, 
and problems of, 7, 11-21, 23-25,28, 
33, 34, 40, 41, 43-44, 45, 46, 48, 56, 60, 
61, 63, 69, 75, 96-100, 102, 105, 106, 
108, 116, 119, 135, 249-250, 255, 257, 
258, 262, 271, 272, 275, 276, 277, 296, 
317. See also Articles of Confedera- 
tion; and specific signers. 

Continental currency, see Economic 

Continental Navy, see . Revolution, 
American, and War for Independence 

Continental securities, see Economic- 
Corinthian architectural style, 243, 250. 
251, 254 

Cornwallis, Charles, 272 

( 'osts of Constitutional Convention, see 

Counties, framers hold offices in, 35, 136. 
See also specific signers. 

County Court House (Philadelphia), see 
Congress Hall 

Courts, see Judges; Laws 

( Jriteria of eligibility of sites and build- 
ings for National Historic Landmark 
status, 229. 327-328 

Crosiadore (estate). Md., 15s, 234,247- 

Culture, and signers, 139. Sec also 
individual signers. 

Custis, George Washington Parke. 290 
Custis, Martha Dandridge, 215, 295 
Custis, Nellie, 297 

Custom House (New York City), 264 
Custom House, Old, Pa., 278 

Daughters of the American Revolution, 
286, 288 

Davie, William R., nonsigning delegate 
to Constitutional Convention, 32, 33, 

Dayton, Gen. Elias, father of signer, 156 

Dayton, Jonathan (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, 32, 33, 35, 
136, 137, 138, 139, 156-157, 257-258 

Dayton, Mrs. Jonathan (Susan William- 
son), wife of signer, 157 

Deaths of signers, see specific signers 

Debts of framers, see Economic 

Decatur, Stephen, 241 

Declaration of Independence, see Revo- 
lution, American, and War for Inde- 

Degrees, honorary, see Honorary de- 

Delaware (Three Lower Counties): his- 
tory of, historic sites in, and framers 
from, 23, 25, 26, 28, 37, 38, 44, 45, 50, 
52, 55, 58, 71, 75, 85, 88, 109, 142-144, 
150-151, 158-160, 177, 187, 200, 206- 
208, 219, 232-240, 247. See also Penn- 

Delaware Archeological Society, 238 

Delaware State Museum, 236 

Delegates to Constitutional Convention 
(U.S.): collective biographical data on 
and appointment and election, travel 
to Convention, attendance and activi- 
ties, and motivations and achieve- 
ments of, 3-132. See also Constitution ; 
Signers of the Constitution; and 
individual delegates. 

Democracy and "democracy," 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, 9, 101, 108, 132 

Descendants of signers, 139. Nee also 
specific signers. 

Deshler-Morris House, Pa., 277, 279 

Detail, committee of, see Committee of 

Dickinson, John (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 23, 32. 33. 37, 52. 
75. 85, 135. 136, 137,158-160, 207,221, 
234-236, 247-248 

Dickinson, Judge Samuel, lather of 

INDEX 345 

signer, 158, 234 
Dickinson, Mrs. John (Mary Norris), 

wife of signer, 158 
Dickinson, Mrs. Samuel (Mary Cadwal- 

ader), mother of signer, 158 
Dickinson, Philemon, brother of signer, 

Dickinson family, 236 
Dickinson (John) Mansion (Kingston- 

upon-Hull), Del., 234-236, 247 
Diplomats, signers as, 139. See also 

particular signers. 
District of Columbia, see Washington, 

Doctors, framers as, 35, 136. See also 

specific signers. 
Doren, Carl Van, 271 
Doric architectural style, 232, 265, 268, 

275, 293, 294 
Duke of Leinster, 245 
Dumbarton House, D.C, 246 
Dunlap, John, and Dunlap & Claypoole 

(David C), printers and publishers, 

60-61, 98, 100 
Dutch Colonial architectural style, 260, 


Estates of signers, see Homes 
Executive Office Building (State, War, 

and Navy Building), D.C, 319, 321 
Expenses of Constitutional Convention, 

26, 40-41, 51 

East Tennessee Historical Society, 286 

Economic and financial status of fram- 
ers, 4, 5, 6, 8, 35, 40, 41, 135-136, 138. 
See also individual signers. 

Education of framers, 6, 8, 33, 35, 135, 
137. See also specific signers. 

Educators, signers as, 136. See also 
particular signers. 

Eisenhower, President Dwight D., 130 

Election of delegates to Constitutional 
Convention, see Delegates 

Electors, Presidential: signers serve as, 
see particular signers 

Eligibility of sites and buildings for 
National Historic Landmark status, 
see National Historic Landmarks 

Elite-ruling group, see Aristocrats 

Ellerslie (Coates Retirement) (estate), 
Md., 177, 178, 228, 248 

Ellsworth (Elsworth), Oliver, nonsign- 
ing delegate to Constitutional Con- 
vention, 32, 33, 37, 52, 60 

English architectural style, 268 

Engrossing and engrossed copy of 
Constitution, 83, 85, 98, 317-323 

Ennals, Ann, 143 

Essays, see Books 

Fairfax, Lord, 214 

Fairfax, William, 296 

Families of framers, 35, 137. See also 
individual signers. 

Farmers, framers as, 35, 136. See also 
Planters; and particular signers. 

"Father of the Constitution," see Madi- 
son, James 

Federal architectural style, 240, 242, 264, 

"Federal" Convention, see Constitution- 
al Convention 

Federal (City) Hall and Federal Hall 
National Memorial, N.Y., 116, 216, 
228, 260-264, 272, 317-318 

Federal Hall (N.Y.) Memorial Asso- 
ciates, Inc., 264 

Federal system of government and 
federations, 45, 48, 166. See also 
Articles of Confederation; Constitu- 

Federalist (The) and Federalist Papers 
(The), 111, 174, 191 

Federalists, see Ratification of Constitu- 

Ferry Farm ("Strother estate"), Va., 295 

Few, Mrs. William (Catherine Nichol- 
son), wife of signer, 162 

Few, William (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 32, 33, 136, 137, 
139, 161-162, 228 

Few family, 161 

Finances of framers, see Economic 

First Bank of the United States Build- 
ing, see Bank of the United States 

Fitzsimons (FitzSimons; Fitzsimmons), 
Mrs. Thomas (Catherine Meade), wife 
of signer, 163 

Fitzsimons (FitzSimons; Fitzsimmons), 
Thomas (signer), career of and sites 
associated with, 32, 33, 136, 137, 138, 
139, 163-164, 228, 278 

Floor plans, see specific residences and 

Florida, 14, 147, 203, 205 

Foreign-born signers, see National ori- 

346 INDEX 

Fort Knox, Ky., 321 

Fort Le Boeuf, Pa., 215 

Fort McHenry and P'ort McHenry Na- 
tional Monument and Historic Shrine, 
Md., 187, 229 

"Fort Wilson," Pa., 222, 278 

Founders, Founding Fathers, and fram- 
ers, see Delegates; Signers of Con- 
stitution; and specific individuals 

Franklin, Benjamin (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, 30, 32, 33, 
34, 35, 36, 50, 51, 52, 66, 83, 84, 85, 88, 
102, 135, 136, 137, 139, 158, 165-169, 
194, 196, 219, 2*28, 276, 277, 278 

Franklin, James, half-hrother of signer, 

Franklin, Mrs. Benjamin (Deborah 
Read), wife of signer, 165 

French, Susanna, 185 

French architectural style, 253, 265 

Friendships among framers, 35. See also 
individual signers. 

Furniture and furnishings associated 
with signers, collectively, 275. See also 
individual sites. 

Gadsden, Thomas, 281 
Gage, Thomas, 179 
Gardens, see specific sites 
Gates, Horatio, 194 
George (inn) (Philadelphia), 30 
George Washington Birthplace Nation- 
al Monument (Wakefield), Va., 214, 

228, 289-292 
Georgia: history of and framers from, 

14, 19, 23, 25, 26, 40, 41, 46, 50, 52, 54, 

55, 58, 75, 88, 101, 109, 140-141, 155, 

161-162, 166, 223. 
Georgian architectural style, 234, 236, 

242, 247, 250, 253, 274, 280, 291, 292, 

295, 296 
Germantown (Pa.) Historical Society, 

Gerry, Elbridge, nonsigning delegate to 

Constitutional Convention, 30, 32, 33, 

35, 37. 52, 66, 80, 85, 102, 109 
Gilman, Ann Taylor, mother of signer, 

Gilman, Col. Daniel, grandfather of 

signer, 255 
Gilman, John Taylor, brother of signer, 

Gilman, Nicholas, Jr. (signer), career of 

and sites associated with, 32, 33, 75, 

136, 138, 139, 169-170. 183, 255-256 
Gilman, Nicholas, Sr., father of signer, 

255, 256 
Gilman family, 169 
Gilman House, N.H., see Ladd-Gilman 

Girard, Stephen, 176 
Gladstone, William, 96 
Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church Na- 
tional Historic Site, Pa., 279 
Gorham, Mrs. Nathaniel (Rebecca Call), 

wife of signer, 171 
Gorham, Nathaniel (signer), career of 

and sites associated with, 32, 33, 37, 

45, 54, 60, 85, 109, 135, 136, 137, 138, 

170-172, 228 
Gorham family, 171 
Gothic Revival architectural style, 232 
Governor John Langdon Mansion, 

N.H., 253-254 
Governor John Rutledge House, S.C., 

Governors, see States 
"Governor's Mansion," Tenn., see 

Blount Mansion 
Grace Episcopal Church, N.Y., 182, 268, 

Graff, Jacob, Jr., House, Pa., 276 
Grainger (Granger), Mary, 146 
"Grand" Convention, see Constitutional 

Grange (The), N.Y., see Hamilton 

Grange National Memorial 
Granger, Mary, see Grainger 
Granite Masonic Lodge, Del., 238 
Graveyards, see Cemeteries 
Gray, John and Mrs. John, 270 
Gray, Hannah, 223 
Gray family, 270 
Great (Connecticut) Compromise, at 

Constitutional Convention, 51-59. 68, 

140, 144, 158, 160, 178. 179. 212 
Greek Revival architectural style. 264 
Greene, Nathaniel, 209 
Gregory, Mrs. Roger, 294-295 
Grimke, Elizabeth, 209 

Hagley (mansion), Del., see Broom 

Hamilton, Alexander (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, and Hamil- 
ton Plan (at Constitutional Conven- 
tion), 11, 23, 26, 32. 33, 37, 40, 41, 49. 
51, 55, 78, 88, 102, 111, 113, 136, 137, 

INDEX 347 

139, 141, 142, 143, 152, 153, 154, 157, 

164, 172-175, 181, 189, 191, 208, 217, 

218, 257, 258, 264-267 
Hamilton, Alexander, grandfather of 

signer, 265 
Hamilton, Andrew, 261, 272 
Hamilton, Mrs. Alexander (Elizabeth 

Schuyler), wife of signer, 173, 266 
Hamilton family, 172 
Hamilton Grange National Memorial 

(The Grange), N.Y., 174, 228, 264-267 
Hancock, John, 26, 109, 253, 323 
Harrison, Benjamin, 102 
Hartwell, Elizabeth, 211 
Hayes Plantation, N.C., 223 
Health of signers, 26, 33. See also 

specific signers. 
Henry, Patrick, 7, 26, 102, 105, 111, 191 
Higbee, Elizabeth, 149 
Hills (The) (estate), Pa., 199 
Historians, historiography, historical 

foundations, historical societies, and 

historic preservation, 6, 228, 266, 271. 

See also entries immediately following 

and individual sites. 
Historic Districts, see National Historic 

Historic Places, National Register of, 

see National Register of Historic Pla- 
Historic sites and buildings of national 

significance, see National Historic 

Hoban, James, 244, 245 
Hollingsworth, Valentine, 236 
Homes of signers, 227-228. See also 

specific signers. 
Honorary degrees, signers awarded, 137. 

See also individual signers. 
Houses of signers, see Homes 
Houston, William, 238 
Houston, William C, nonsigning dele- 
gate to Constitutional Convention, 23, 

32, 33 
Houstoun, William, nonsigning delegate 

to Constitutional Convention, 32, 33, 

Humanitarians, see Reformers 
Hunting Creek Plantation, Va., see 

Mount Vernon 
Hutchinson, Thomas, 219 

Income and indebtedness of framers,see 

Independence Hall, Pa., see Independ- 
ence National Historical Park 

Independence (U.S.) movement, see 
Continental Congress; Revolution, 
American, and War for Independence 

Independence National Historical Park, 
Independence Hall (State House for 
the Province of Pennsylvania), Inde- 
pendence Square, and Independence 
Mall, Pa., 30, 31, 37, 98, 164, 228, 270- 

Indian Queen Tavern (Philadelphia), 
30, 58 

Indians, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 28, 101, 124, 
147, 155, 162, 171, 185, 211, 222, 284, 

Ingersoll, Jared (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 32, 33, 136, 137, 
175-176, 228, 278 

Ingersoll, Jared, Sr., father of signer, 
175, 179 

Ingersoll, Mrs. Jared (Elizabeth Pettit 
[Petit]), wife of signer, 176 

Ingersoll family, 175 

Intellectual factors, and framers, 6. See 
also individual signers. 

Interpretation, judicial, of Constitution, 
see United States Supreme Court 

Ionic architectural style, 233, 242, 251 

Iredell, James, 223, 269 

Iredell, Mrs. James, 269 

Iredell (James) House, N.C., 269-270 

Illinois, 126 

Illness, see Doctors; Health 

Jackson, Andrew, 191, 241, 284, 287 
Jackson, Maj. William, secretary of 

Constitutional Convention, 41, 83, 84, 

96, 317 
Jameson, J. Franklin, 319 
Jay, John, Jr., 14, 102, 111, 152, 156, 167, 

174, 181, 184, 191, 195, 203, 210, 258, 

317, 318 
Jefferson, Thomas, 26, 33, 141, 143, 164, 

170, 174, 175, 184, 189, 191, 196, 203, 

213, 217, 218, 241, 244, 245, 250, 27fc- 

277, 293, 318, 323 
Jenifer, Daniel, brother of signer, 248 
Jenifer, Daniel of St. Thomas (signer), 

career of and sites associated with, 32, 

33, 136, 137, 138, 177-178, 228, 248, 

Johnson, Andrew, 287 
Johnson, Mrs. William Samuel (Anne 

348 INDEX 

Beach), first wife of signer, 179 

Johnson, Mrs. William Samuel (Mary 
Brewster Beach), second wife of 
signer, 180 

Johnson, Samuel, father of signer, 178 

Johnson, William Samuel (signer), ca- 
reer of and sites associated with, 32, 
33, 37, 78, 136, 137, 138, 139, 178-180, 

Judges, judicial matters, and jurispru- 
dence: and signers, 139. See also 
specific signers. 

Judicial interpretation of Constitution, 
see United States Supreme Court 

Judiciary, see Judges; Laws 

Jurisprudence, jurists, justices, and 
justices of the peace, see Judges; Laws 

Kate (Bonny) Chapter of the Daughters 

of the American Revolution, 286 
Kean, Susan Livingston, niece of signer, 

Kean family, 258, 260 
Kennedy, President John F., 130 
Kentucky, 321 
King, Cornelia, granddaughter of 

signer, 269 
King, John Alsop, son of signer, 268 
King, Mrs. Rufus (Mary Alsop), wife of 

signer, 181 
King, Rufus (signer), career of and sites 

associated with, 32, 33, 37, 41, 54, 75, 

78, 81, 85, 109, 136, 139, 180-182, 267- 

King family, 268 
King Manor (estate) and King Park, 

N.Y., 182, 267-269 
King Manor Association of Long Island, 

Inc., 269 
Kingston-upon-Hull, Del., see Dickinson 

(John) Mansion 
Knox, Henry, 284 
Knoxville Garden Club, 286 

Ladd, Nathaniel, 255 

I .add, Simeon, 256 

Ladd (Nathaniel) family, 255 

Ladd-Gilman House (Cincinnati Memo 

rial Hall; Oilman House), N.H., 255- 

La layette, M arquis de, L56, 157. 173, 1ST, 

241, 253, 257, 258, 293, 297 

Lambert, William, 322 

Landholdings of framers, see Economic 

Landmarks, National Historic, see Na- 
tional Historic Landmarks 

Langdon, John (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 33, 136, 139, 182- 
184, 253-254 

Langdon, Mrs. John (Elizabeth Sher- 
burne), wife of signer, 183 

Langdon family, 183 

Langdon (Governor John) Mansion, 
N.H., see Governor John Langdon 

Lansing, John, Jr., nonsigning delegate 
to Constitutional Convention, 33, 41, 
49, 55, 102, 111, 136 

Latrobe, Benjamin H., 245, 293 

Laurens, Henry, 26 

Laurens, Mary Eleanor, 203 

Laws, legal practice, and legal educa- 
tion: and framers, 4, 35, 49, 55, 136. 
See also Judges; and particular 

Lawson, Peter, 142 

Lawyers, see Judges; Laws 

Leach, Mary, 213 

Learned societies, signers members of, 
see specific signers 

Lee, Richard Henry, 26, 102, 191, 222 

Legal practice, see Judges; Laws 

Legislatures, State, see States 

Leinster, Duke of, 245 

L'Enfant, Maj. Pierre Charles, 199, 244, 

Letters From the Federal Farmer to the 
Republican (tract), 102 

Liberty Bell, 275-276 

Liberty Hall (Ursino), N.J., 186, 258-260 

Library Company of Philadelphia, 31, 
276 * 

Library Hall, Pa., 276, 279 

Library of Congress, 320, 321 

Lincoln, President Abraham, 247 

Littlejohn, Rev. , 319 

Livingston, Mrs. William (Susanna 
French), wife of signer, L85 

Livingston, Philip, brother of signer. L85 

Livingston, Robert R., 195, 263 

Livingston, William (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, 33, 37. L36, 
137. 139, 173. 185-186, 258-260 

Livingston family, 185 

Local affairs and government, framers 
take part in, 35, 136. Sec also specific 

Locke, John, 94 

Lombardy Hall (Pizgah; Pisgah), Del.. 

INDEX 349 

144, 236-238 
Lombardy Hall Foundation, Inc., 238 
Longevity of framers, see Age 
Lord Fairfax, 214 
Louisiana, 147, 203 

McClurg, James, nonsigning delegate to 
Constitutional Convention, 33 

McComb, John, 265 

McHenry, James (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 33, 41, 136, 137, 
139, 187-189, 228 

McHenry, Mrs. James (Margaret Alli- 
son Caldwell), wife of signer, 188 

McHenry family, 187, 189 

McKean, Thomas, 160, 207 

McLean (M'Lean), John, 100 

Madison, Ambrose, grandfather of 
signer, 292 

Madison, James (signer and "Father of 
the Constitution"), career of and sites 
associated with, 11, 23, 33, 35, 36, 38, 
41, 43, 45, 46, 49, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 66, 
74, 75, 76, 78, 83, 102, 111, 120, 136, 
137, 138, 139, 141, 144, 152, 160, 174, 
178, 181, 189-193, 222, 228, 240-247, 
292-294, 319, 323 

Madison, James, Sr., father of signer, 

Madison, Mrs. James (Dolley Payne 
Todd), wife of signer, 191, 240, 241, 
242, 244, 246, 293 

Madison family, 292, 294 

Madison, Wis., 228-229 

Magistrates, see Judges; Laws 

Maine, 180. See also Massachusetts. 

Manor of the Rocklands, Del., see New 

Marine Corps Museum, Pa., see New 

Marital status of signers, 138. See also 
individual signers. 

Marshall, John, 96, 111, 276 

Martin, Alexander, nonsigning delegate 
to Constitutional Convention, 33 

Martin, Luther, nonsigning delegate to 
Constitutional Convention, 33, 37, 50, 
52, 69, 102 

Maryland: history of, historic sites in, 
and framers from, 22, 23, 26, 37, 50, 52, 
56, 75, 88, 102, 110, 111, 142, 153-154, 
158, 161, 177-178, 187-189, 207, 229, 
234, 247-253 

Maryland State House, Md., 23, 248-252 

Mason, George, nonsigning delegate 
to Constitutional Convention, 33, 37, 
52, 69, 72, 74, 80, 85, 102, 111, 191 

Massachusetts: history of and framers 
from, 15, 17, 19, 23, 26, 37, 40, 45, 50, 
52, 58, 60, 75, 80, 81, 88, 104, 109, 110, 
159, 166, 170-172, 180-182, 208, 211, 
272. See also Maine. 

Massengill, Henry, Sr., and John M., 
287, 288 

Massengill family, 287 

Mayors, see Cities 

Meade, Catherine and Robert, 163 

Meade (George) and Company, 163 

Medicine and medical practice, see Doc- 
tors; Health 

Memorials and monuments to signers, 
228-229. See also specific signers. 

Mercantile pursuits, see Economic 

Mercer, John F., nonsigning delegate to 
Constitutional Convention, 33, 102 

Merchants, see Economic 

Merchants' Exchange (building), Pa., 

Meredith, Elizabeth, 154 

Merediths, 154 

Michaux, Andre, 284 

Middleton, Mary, 151 

Middleton, Sarah, 206 

Mifflin, Mrs. Thomas (Sarah Morris), 
wife of signer, 193 

Mifflin, Thomas (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 31, 33, 37, 98, 
135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 193-194, 228 

Mifflin family, 193 

Mikveh Israel Cemetery National His- 
toric Site, Pa., 279 

Militia, framers serve in, 34. See also 
specific signers. 

Mississippi, 14 

Missouri, 203 

Mobility of signers, 137. See also indi- 
vidual signers. 

Moderatism, political: and framers, 5, 
37, 52. See also individual signers. 

Moland, John, 158 

Monroe, James, 102, 111, 182, 192, 241, 
246, 253, 293, 318 

Montesquieu, Baron Charles D., 94 

Montpelier (Montpellier) (estate), Va., 
189, 191, 292-294 

Monuments to signers, see Memorials 

Morgan, J. P., 266 

Morris, Gouverneur (signer and "Pen- 
man" of Constitution), career of and 
sites associated with, 33, 37, 54, 56, 66, 
74, 75, 78, 84, 135, 136, 137, 139, 190, 

350 INDEX 

195-197, 199, 223, 228 

Morris, Lewis, half-brother of signer 
Gouverneur, 195, 196, 258 

Morris, Mrs. Gouverneur (Anne Gary 
[Carey] Randolph), wife of signer, 197 

Morris, Mrs. Robert (Mary White), wife 
of signer, 197 

Morris, Robert (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 30, 31, 33, 35, 37, 
56, 96, 135, L36, 137, 138, 139, 155, 164, 
196, 197-199, 210, 222, 228, 278 

Morris, Sarah, 193 

-Morris' Folly," Pa., 199 

Morrisania (estate), N.Y., 195, 196-197 

Mount Airy (estate), Va., 240 

Mount Vernon (Hunting Creek Planta- 
tion), Va., and Mount Vernon Confer- 
ence (1785), 22, 28, 177, 178, 190, 214, 
215, 216, 217, 292, 294-297 

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of 
the Union, 297 

Mullen, Elizabeth, 148 

Municipalities, see Cities 

National Archives Building, D.C., 9, 
317, 321, 322, 323 

National Historic Landmarks, 227-297 

National origins of signers, compared, 
137. See also individual signers. 

National parks, National Park Service, 
and National Park System, 227-294 

National Register of Historic Places, 

National significance of historic sites 
and buildings, see National Survey 

National Society of Colonial Dames of 
America, 235 

National Survey of Historic Sites and 
Buildings, 229. See also National 
Historic Landmarks; Other Sites Con- 

Nationalism and antinationalism, 9, 19, 
22, 26, 33, 37, 43-56 passim, 63, 66, 1 13, 
152. 153, L60, 162, 163, 164, 171, 172. 
173, 177, 178. ISO, L81, 190, 191, 196, 
202. 205. 210 

Nativity of signers, see National ori- 
gins; and specific signers. 

Navy, see Continental Navy; United 
States Navy 

Negroes, see Slaves 

Nelson, Thomas, Jr.. 20 

New Castle and New Castle Historic- 
District, Del., 238-239 

New Hall (Marine Corps Museum), Pa., 
278, 279 

New Hampshire: history of, historic- 
sites in, and framers from, 15, 19, 23, 
25, 26,40, 41,55. 75.88, 110, 111, 114, 
116, 169-170, 182-184, 253-256 

New Jersey: history of, historic sites in, 
and framers from, 23. 25. 26, 31 , 35. 37, 
38, 46, 49, 50, 52, 58, 71, 75, 88, 109, 148- 
149, 156-157, 159, 166, 173, 175, 185- 
186, 190, 194, 200-201. 212, 216, 223. 
229, 250, 257-260, 266, 318 

New Jersey (Paterson) Plan, at Consti- 
tutional Convention, 48-49, 61, 149, 
186, 200, 201, 212 

New Patent Office Building, D.C., 319 

New Wark (Manor of the Rocklands), 
Del., 236 

New York: historv of, historic sites in, 
and framers from, 15, 23, 25, 26, 37, 40, 
45, 49, 50, 52, 55, 61, 64, 88, 96, 100, 101. 
102, 104, 111, 114, 116, 161, 162, 172- 
175, 178, 180, 181, 183, 185, 187, 191. 
194, 195, 196, 197, 201, 208, 217, 220, 
223, 258, 260-269, 272, 317-318 

New York City Custom House, 264 

New York City Hall, see Federal Hall 

New-York Historical Society, 220 

Newspapers, Constitution published in, 
98, 100 

Nicholson, Catherine, 162 

Niemcewicz, Count Julian Ursin, 25,s 

N orris, Mary, 158 

North Carolina: history of, historic sites 
in, and framers from. 15, 23, 25. 40. 45, 
50,52,54,58,75,88, 114.116. U9.146- 
148, 161, 212-213, 218-220, 223, 269- 
270, 286, 287 

Northern United States, framers from 
and represent interests of, 54, 56, 69, 
71, 72, 73. See also particular signers. 

Occupations of framers. sec Professions 
Octagon House, D.C., 240-244, 246 
Office of Archeology and Historic Pres- 
ervation, National Park Service. 229 
Officials and staff of Constitutional 

Convention. 41, 83, 84, 85. 96, 317 
Ohio, 15, 157. 229. 262 
Old Custom House. Pa., 278 
Old Swede's Church. Del., 151 
Old Swedes' Church. Pa,, see Gloria Dei 

INDEX 351 

Oratory, and framers, see specific 

Other Sites Considered, 229-289 passim 

Paine, Thomas, 198 

Palladian architectural style, 243, 245, 
268, 296 

Pamphlets, see Books 

Parents of signers, see specific signers 

Parker, Jane B., 144, 236 

Parties, political, and party system, see 
Political parties 

Pastures (The) (residence), N.Y., 264 

Paterson (Patterson), Mrs. William 
(Cornelia Bell), first wife of signer, 201 

Paterson (Patterson), Mrs. William 
(Euphemia White), second wife of 
signer, 201 

Paterson (Patterson), William (signer), 
career of and sites associated with, 33, 
41, 46, 48, 49, 52, 135, 136, 137, 138, 
139, 149, 200-201, 228 

Paterson (Patterson) family, 200 

Paterson, N.J., 229 

Paterson (Patterson) Plan, see New 
Jersey Plan 

Patterson, Edgar, 318 

Pay of delegates to Constitutional Con- 
vention, 26 

Peale, Charles Willson, and Peale's 
Museum, 31, 274 

Peale, Rembrandt, 274 

Peggy Stewart House (Rutland-Jeni- 
fer-Stone House; Rutland-Peggy 
Stewart House; Rutland -Stewart - 
Stone House), Md., 228, 252-253 

Pemberton House (Armv-Navy Muse- 
um), Pa., 278, 279 

Pendleton, Edmund, 111 

"Penman" of Constitution, see Morris, 

Penn, William, 28, 236, 238, 275 

Penn family, 165 

Pennsylvania: history of, historic sites 
in, and framers from, 23, 25, 26, 30, 35, 
36, 37, 38, 40, 45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 58, 60, 
71 , 75, 83, 88, 98, 104, 109, 150, 154-156, 
158, 159, 160, 161, 163-169, 175-176, 
111, 187, 193-199, 205, 207, 215, 216, 
218, 219, 221-223, 270-280. See also 

Pennsylvania State House, see Inde- 
pendence National Historical Park 

Petit (Pettit), Elizabeth, 176 

Petrie, Alexander, 281 

Pettit, Elizabeth, see Petit, Elizabeth 

Phelps, Oliver, 171 

Philadelphia, Pa.: life of framers in, 
history of, and historic sites in, 4, 7, 8, 
9, 23, 25, 28-31, 36, 55, 60, 65, 71, 98, 
106, 116, 123, 142, 143, 144, 151, 152, 
153, 155, 156, 158, 159, 163, 164, 166, 
167, 169, 170, 175, 176, 180, 183, 187, 
193, 196, 197, 199, 202, 207, 208, 213, 
217, 219, 221, 222, 223, 228, 234, 240, 
260, 262, 263, 270-279, 296, 318, 319 

Philadelphia (Merchants') Exchange 
(building), 278-279 

Philadelphia National Shrines Park 
Commission, 279 

Philanthropists, framers as, 7. See also 
specific signers. 

Philippe, Louis, 253, 284 

Philosophical Hall, Pa., see American 
Philosophical Society Hall 

Physical afflictions and physicians, see 
Doctors; Health 

Pierce, Rachel, 150 

Pierce, William L., nonsigning delegate 
to Constitutional Convention, 33, 41 

Pinckney, Charles (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, and Pinck- 
ney (Charles) Plan (at Constitutional 
Convention), 33, 37, 45, 49, 55, 61, 66, 
136, 137, 139, 202-204, 280-281, 283- 

Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth (signer), 
career of and sites associated with, 33, 
37, 54, 55, 83, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 
181, 202, 203, 204-206, 228 

Pinckney, Col. Charles, father of signer 
Charles, 202, 280, 283 

Pinckney, Mrs. Charles (Mary Eleanor 
Laurens), wife of signer, 203 

Pinckney, Mrs. Charles Cotesworth 
(Sarah Middleton), first wife of signer, 

Pinckney, Mrs. Charles Cotesworth 
(Mary Stead), second wife of signer, 

Pinckney (Charles) family, 280 

Pinckney (Charles Cotesworth) family, 

Pinckney (Colonel Charles) House, S.C., 
see Colonel (Charles) Pinckney House 

Pisgah (estate), Del., see Lombardy Hall 

Pitt, William, the younger, 96 

Pizgah ( estate), Del, see Lombardy Hall 

Planters, framers as, 4, 35, 136. See also 
individual signers. 

352 INDEX 

Politics and political parties, and fram- 
ers, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 33-35, 36, 95, 100-101, 
105, 108-1 16 passim, 123, 135, 139. See 
also specific signers. 

Portraits of signers, 274. See also partic- 
ular portraits reproduced in this book. 

Postponed matters, committee on, see 
Committee on postponed matters 

Prescott, Rebecca, 211 

Presidential (U.S.) electors, see Electors 

Presidents, U.S., see United States Pres- 

"President's House" and "President's 
Palace," D.C., see White House 

Presiding officer at Constitutional Con- 
vention, see Washington, George 

Press, see Newspapers 

Printing of Constitution, 60-61, 65, 80, 
83, 96,^98, 100 

Professions and occupations of framers, 
26, 136. See also specific signers. 

Property holdings of framers, see Eco- 

Psychological factors, influence fram- 
ers, 6, 46 

Public affairs and public offices, see 
Public service 

Public opinion, and framers, 41-43 

Publi service, and framers, 35, 135-136. 
See also individual signers. 

Putnam, Herbert, 321 

Radicals, and framers, 8, 19-21, See also 
specific signers. 

Randolph, Anne Cary (Carey), 197 

Randolph, Edmund J., nonsigning dele- 
gate to Constitutional Convention, 23, 
33, 37, 38, 43, 45, 49, 50, 54, 56, 60, 61, 
71-72, 78, 83, 85, 102, 111 

Raritan (estate), N.J., 200 

Ratification of Constitution, 7, 26, 65, 75, 
80, 81, 83, 88, 98-116, 117,1 19, 120, 124, 
228, 260, 262, 263, 269, 273, 322, 323. 
See also particular signers. 

Read, Deborah, 165 

Read, George (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 23, 33, 35, 54, 85, 
135, L36, 137, 139, 160, 206-208, 238- 

Read, Joseph, 144 

Read, Mrs. George (Gertrude Ross Till), 
wife of signer, 207 

Read family, 20^ 

Real estate, see Economic- 

Recreation of framers, see Social life 

Reed, Joseph, 176 

Reformers and humanitarians, and 
framers, 6. See also specific signers. 

Relatives of signers, see individual 

Religion, see Christianity 

Rensselaer, Stephen Van, 201 

Rensselaer, Van, family, 201 

Representatives, House of (U.S.), see 
United States House of Representa- 

"Republicanism" and republican princi- 
ples, 4, 5, 9, 45, 106, 191, 221, 222 

Residences of signers, see Homes 

Retirement of signers, 136. See also 
specific signers. 

Revolution, American, and War for 
Independence: framers take part in, 9, 
26, 34-35, 37, 102, 135. See also 
individual signers. 

Revolution, American, Daughters of the, 
see Daughters of the American Revo- 

Rhode Island and Providence Planta- 
tions: history of, 7, 17, 21, 23, 26, 114, 

Rights, Bill of (U.S.), see Bill of Rights 

Rights, bills of (State), see States 

"Rising Sun" chair, 88, 275 

Robinson, Charles and George, 236 

Rockefeller, John D., Jr., 291 

Rocklands, Manor of the, Del., see New 

Rocky Mount (Cobb-Massengill Home), 
Tenn., 147, 287-288 

Rocky Mount Historical Association of 
the Tri-Cities, 288 

Roman Doric and Roman Revival archi- 
tectural style, 275 

Roosevelt, President Franklin I)., 127 

Rosefield (residence), N.C., 146, 270 

Ross, George, brother-in-law of signer, 

Ruling-elite group, see Aristocrats 

Rush, Dr. Benjamin, 102, 187 

Rutland, Thomas, 252 

Rutland-Jenifer-Stone House, Rutland- 
Peggy Stewart House, and Rutland- 
Stewart-Stone House, see Peggy Stew- 
art House 

Rutledge, Edward, brother of signer, 
208, 282 

Rutledge, John (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 33, 37, 52, 54, 60, 
61, 136, 137, 139, 208-210. 281-2S2 

Rutledge, Mrs. John (Elizabeth 

INDEX 353 

Grimke), wife of signer, 209 
Rutledge family, 208 
Rutledge (Governor John) House, S.C., 

see Governor John Rutledge House 

St. Luke's Episcopal Church, N.Y., 266, 

Salaries of framers, see Pay 

Schools, see Education 

Schuyler, Elizabeth, 173 

Schuyler, Gen. Philip J., 264 

Schuyler family, 173 

Scientists, signers as, 136, 165, 166, 218, 

Second Bank of the United States 
Building, see Bank of the United 
States Buildings 

Secretary of Constitutional Convention, 
see Jackson, William 

Securities, framers hold, see Economic 

Senate, U.S., see United States Senate 

Serrurier (Serurier), Louis, 241 

"Seven Buildings," D.C., 242, 246 

Sevier, John, 284 

Shallus, Jacob, engrosser of Constitu- 
tion, 83, 85 

Shays, Daniel, and Shays' Rebellion, 8, 

Sherburne, Elizabeth, 183 

Sherman, Mrs. Roger (Elizabeth Hart- 
well), first wife of signer, 211 

Sherman, Mrs. Roger (Rebecca Pres- 
cott), second wife of signer, 211 

Sherman, Roger (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 33, 35, 37, 46, 48, 
51, 52, 54, 74, 75, 77, 78, 80, 135, 136, 
137, 138, 139, 197, 210-212, 228 

Sherman family, 211 

Sickness, see Doctors; Health 

Signers of the Constitution: collective 
biographical data on, motivations and 
achievements of, and historic sites 
associated with, 3-223, 227-297 pas- 
sim. See also Delegates; specific 
signers; and appropriate topics 
throughout this index. 

"Six Buildings," D.C., 318 

Slaves, and framers, 4, 7, 8, 9, 28, 35, 52, 
54-55, 56, 58, 63, 69-71, 78, 123, 124, 
136, 169, 181, 182, 183, 185, 186, 193, 
205, 209, 218. See also individual 

Snee Farm, S.C., 202, 283-284 

Social life of framers during Constitu- 

tional Convention, 30-31, 60, 88 
Social status of framers, 8, 137. See also 

specific signers. 
Society for the Preservation of New 

England Antiquities, 254. 

Society of the Cincinnati, 149, 206, 255 

Somerseat (estate), Pa., see Summerseat 

South Carolina: history of, historic sites 

in, and framers from, 23, 26, 37, 40, 45, 

49, 50, 52, 54, 55, 58, 60, 61, 75, 85, 88, 

111, 151-152, 202-206, 208-210, 213, 

219, 220, 280-284, 287 

Southern United States, framers from 
and represent interests of, 54, 55, 56, 
63, 69, 71, 72-73. See also Planters; 
and individual signers. 

Spaight, Mrs. Richard Dobbs, Sr. (Mary 
Leach), wife of signer, 213 

Spaight, Richard Dobbs, Sr. (signer), 
career of and sites associated with, 33, 
136, 137, 212-213, 228 

Spaight family, 213 

Speculators and speculation, see Eco- 

Spencer, Nicholas, 294 

Stadt Huys (building), N.Y., 260 

Staff of Constitutional Convention, see 

Stanly, John, 213 

Stark, John, 183 

State, War, and Navy Building, D.C., see 
Executive Office Building 

State House for the Province of Pennsyl- 
vania, see Independence National 
Historical Park 

States: framers hold offices in and 
represent interests of, 4, 26, 136, 137, 
139 (and see specific signers); powers 
of and role in U.S. Government, 4, 6, 7, 
8, 9, 11-131 passim 

Statues of signers, see Memorials 

Stead, Mary, 206 

Stepney (estate), Md., 177 

Steuben, Baron von, 241 

Stewart, Anthony and Mrs. Anthony, 

Stewart (Peggy) House, Md., see Peggy 
Stewart House 

Stockton, Richard, 200 

Stone, Thomas, 26, 252 

Stonum (Stoneham) (estate), Del., 207, 

Strickland, William, 275 

Strong, Caleb, nonsigning delegate to 
Constitutional Convention, 33, 109 

"Strother estate," Va., see Ferry Farm 

Stuart, Gilbert, 246, 256 

354 INDEX 

Style, committee of, see Committee of 

Summerseat (Summerseat School; 

Somerseat), Pa., 156, 279-280 
Supreme Court, U.S., see United States 

Supreme Court 
Surgeons, see Doctors; Health 

Tayloe, Col. John, and Tayloe family, 

240, 241, 242 
Temperament of framers, 6, 75. See also 

specific signers. 
Tennessee: history of and historic sites 

in, 146, 147, 148, 284-288 
Tennessee Historical Commission, 288 
The Federalist and The Federalist 

Papers, see Federalist 
The Grange (estate), N.Y., see Hamilton 

Grange National Memorial 
The Hills (estate), Pa., 199 
The Pastures (residence), N.Y., 264 
Thomson, Charles, Secretary of Conti- 
nental Congress, 96, 317, 318 
Thornton, Dr. William, 240, 293 
Three Lower Counties, see Delaware 
Till, Gertrude Ross, 207 
Todd, Dolley Payne, 191 
Todd House, Pa., 279 
Tombs, see Cemeteries 
Towns, see Cities 
Tracts, see Books 
Trade and traders, see Commerce 
Travel: of framers to Philadelphia, 28, 

37; of signers, 137 {and see specific 

Treasury Building (present and old), 

D.C., 318, 319 
Trenton Iron Works, N.J., 31 
Trials, see Judges; Laws 
Truman, President Harry S, 128 

United States, Bank of the. Building, see 

Bank of the United States Buildings 
United States Army, 8, 9, 11, 14-15, 63, 

106, 135. See also Continental Army; 

and individual signers. 
United States Bill of Rights, see Bill of 

United States Capitol, D.C., 240, 241, 

244, 246 
United States Congress, signers serve 

in, 139. See also specific signers. 

United States Constitution, see Consti- 

United States Constitutional Conven- 
tion, see Constitutional Convention 

United States Continental Congress, see 
Continental Congress 

United States Government, framers 
serve in, 6. See also particular signers. 

United States House of Representatives, 
see United States Congress 

United States Navy, 15,63, 106, 184, 198. 
See also Continental Navy. 

United States Presidents, signers serve 
or nominated as, 35, 138-139, 180, 182, 
189, 191, 204, 206, 214, 216-218, 244- 
246, 273-274 

United States Secretary of the Interior, 
229. See also National parks. 

United States Senate, see United States 

United States Sub-Treasury Building, 
N.Y., 264 

United States Supreme Court, interprets 
Constitution and signers serve on, 4. 
64-65, 74, 96, 117, 121, 124, 130, 139 

United States Vice Presidents, signers 
nominated as, 180, 182, 204, 206 

Universities, see Colleges and universi- 

"Unwritten Constitution," see Constitu- 

Ursino (estate), N.J., see Liberty Hall 

Valley Forge, Pa., 31 

Van Doren, Carl, 271 

Van Rensselaer, Stephen, 201 

Van Rensselaer family, 201 

Vergennes, Comte de, 14 

Vermont, 15, 19 

Vernon, Admiral, 295 

Vice Presidents, U.S., see United States 
Vice Presidents 

Villages, see Cities 

Virginia: history of, historic sites in, 
and framers from, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 
36, 37, 38, 40, 43, 44, 45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 
58, 60, 69, 71 , 72, 75, 80, 85, 88, 102, 104, 
111, 114, 144, 145-146, 156, 173. 189- 
193, 214-218, 240, 241, 244, 285. 288- 
297, 318, 319 

Virginia Plan, at Constitutional Con- 
vention, 38. 43-51, 5s. 61, L90 

Vocations of framers, see Professions 

INDEX 355 

Von Steuben, Baron, 241 

Wakefield (estate), Va., see George 
Washington Birthplace National 

Wakefield National Memorial Associa- 
tion, 290 

Walton, George, 26, 155 

War for Independence, see Revolution, 

War Office Building, D.C., 318, 319 

Washington, Augustine, father of 
signer, 290, 291, 292, 295 

Washington, Augustine, Jr., half- 
brother of signer, 290, 292 

Washington, Bushrod, nephew of 
signer, 296 

Washington, George (signer and presi- 
dent of Constitutional Convention), 
career of and sites associated with, 11, 
15, 22, 23, 28, 30, 31, 33, 35, 36, 41, 45, 
75, 77, 85, 96, 102, 108, 111, 116, 119, 
136, 137, 138, 139, 144, 147, 149, 150, 
153, 154, 173, 174, 177, 187, 189, 194, 
196, 198, 199, 210, 214-218, 223, 228, 
240, 244, 246, 250, 251, 253, 256, 257, 
258, 260, 263, 266, 272-274, 277, 278, 
283, 289-292, 294-297, 317, 322, 323 

Washington, John, great-grandfather of 
signer, 292, 294 

Washington, John A., Jr., great- 
grandnephew of signer, 297 

Washington, Lawrence, grandfather of 
signer, 292, 295 

Washington, Lawrence, half-brother of 
signer, 214 

Washington, Lund, 296 

Washington, Mildred, 294-295 

Washington, Mrs. Augustine (Jane 
Butler), first wife of signer's father, 

Washington, Mrs. Augustine (Mary 
Ball), mother of signer, 290 

Washington, Mrs. George (Martha 
Dandridge Custis), wife of signer, 215, 
258, 290, 295, 297 

Washington, Mrs. Lawrence, 295 

Washington, William Augustine and 
William Lewis, 290 

Washington family, 290, 292 

Washington (State), 228 

Washington, D.C.: history of and histor- 
ic sites in, 9, 128-129, 141, 153, 154, 
182, 199, 217, 229, 240-247, 263, 273, 

274, 293, 318, 319, 321 

Washington (George) Birthplace Na- 
tional Monument, Va., see George 
Washington Birthplace National 

Washington Monument, D.C., 228 

Wealth of framers, see Economic 

Weather conditions during Constitu- 
tional Convention, 65 

Webster, Daniel, 241, 293 

West Virginia, 214 

Whedbee, Joseph, 269 

White, Euphemia, 201 

White, Mary, 197 

White House ("President's House"; 
"President's Palace"), D.C., 240, 241, 
244-247, 318 

White (Bishop) House, Pa., 279 

White's Fort, Tenn., 284, 287 

Whole, committee of the, see Committee 
of the whole 

Wilkins, John, 269 

Williamson, Hugh (signer), career of 
and sites associated with, 33, 37, 51, 
54, 73, 75, 136, 137, 218-220, 228 

Williamson, Mrs. Hugh (Maria Ap- 
thorpe), wife of signer, 220 

Williamson, Susan, 157 

Williamson family, 218 

Willing, Charles and Thomas, 197 

Wilson, James (signer), career of and 
sites associated with, 33, 35, 37, 49, 52, 
56, 60, 61, 66, 75, 76, 84, 135, 136, 137, 
138, 139, 152, 190, 221-223, 269-270, 
276, 278 

Wilson, Mrs. James (Rachel Bird), first 
wife of signer, 221 

Wilson, Mrs. James (Hannah Gray), 
second wife of signer, 223 

Wilson, President Woodrow, 130 

Wives of signers, 138. See also particular 

Woodruff, Samuel, 257 

Wooley, Edmund, 272 

Wythe, George, nonsigning delegate to 
Constitutional Convention, 33, 35, 37, 
111, 145 

Yates, Robert, nonsigning delegate to 
Constitutional Convention, 33, 41, 49, 
52, 54, 55, 102, 111 

Zenger, John Peter, 261 

As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department 
of the Interior has basic responsibilities for water, fish, wildlife, 
mineral, land, park, and recreational resources. Indian and Terri- 
torial affairs are other major concerns of America's "Department 
of Natural Resources." The Department works to assure the 
wisest choice in managing all our resources so each will make its 
full contribution to a better United States — now and in the future. 

George Washington's inauguration on April 30, 1 789, marked the establishment of 
the new Government under the Constitution. 

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